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MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) creates high-resolution images of the body using a powerful magnet and radio frequency waves.
MRI is a very safe way of producing images that can diagnose medical conditions. It does not use x-rays and has not been shown to have any harmful side effects.
The MRI scanner is an open-ended “doughnut” shape that is surrounded by a large magnet within the circular area. During your examination, you will be asked to lie on a scanning table which will slowly move to position the part of your body being scanned in to the centre of the scanner. It is important that you remain still during the examination so that the best possible images are obtained.
You will be positioned on the scanning table either head first or feet first, depending on the part of your body being scanned. You will be given ear protection because the scanner makes a loud drumming noise.
The Radiographer will go into a different room during the scan but you will be able to talk to them at any point throughout the procedure via an intercom; they will watch and be able to hear you at all times. You will also be given a buzzer to hold so you can interrupt the scan, if needed.
Sometimes an injection (called a contrast dye) will be required to give a clearer picture of certain tissues or organs being examined but this will be discussed with you. If you are given an injection, you will be asked to remain in the imaging department for 30 minutes after the scan is complete.
Yes, you must have a referral from a doctor or a registered healthcare practitioner such as a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor.
A Radiographer will greet you for your MRI examination and go through the procedure with you.
You will be asked to fill out a safety questionnaire prior to your scan and asked to remove all metal items such as jewellery, belts, watches and money.
Most MRI scans do not require any special preparation; you should continue with any medication.
If you are having a scan of your:
MRI involves magnets which may interact with objects on your possession such as jewellery or money. You may be asked to change into a gown so the Radiographer can be sure that you do not have any metal on your person during the scan.
The Consultant Radiologist will write a report based on the images acquired during your scan. This report will be sent to your referring clinician within 48 hours. You can discuss the results with your clinician at your follow-up appointment.
You can resume normal activities immediately after the scan is complete.
MRI does not use x-rays and is deemed safe. However, not everyone can enter the magnetic field in the MRI room.
It is essential that you inform us before your scan if you:
Yes, a friend or family member may attend the appointment with you.