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Welcome to the MRI Scanner

A doctor on the ward has requested that you have an MRI scan. You may have a few questions about having the scan. Read below for information ahead of your scan appointment.

  • What is an MRI scan?

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a safe modern scanning technique that uses strong magnetic fields to produce very detailed images of parts of the body. You will lie on a flatbed inside the tube during the scan. At certain times the scanner will make loud knocking noises, this is normal and you will be given headphones to wear and music will be played through these for extra comfort. There is also a TV to watch while you are having your scan. It is extremely important to stay still during the scan. A buzzer will be given to you. If you feel unwell or are unable to tolerate the scan, then this can be pressed and a radiographer will come in to the room to you.

  • Prohibited items

    No magnetic items are allowed into the scan room. This includes;

    • Walking sticks/frames
    • Wheelchairs
    • Oxygen cylinders
    • Coins
    • Jewellery
  • Preparation

    The Doctor will have asked you some questions about any surgery you have had and if you have any metal/implants in your body.

    Please inform ward staff if you have any metal in your body as x-rays may be required before your scan.

    Some scans may require you to fast prior to the scan, the ward will inform you of this.

    A porter will be organised to transport you to the MRI department 15 minutes before your scan to allow time for the radiographer to complete a safety checklist with you beforehand.

    Prior to leaving the ward, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown. Jewellery, medical skin patches, diabetic monitors and all medical equipment must be removed and valuables can be kept on the ward. Glasses can be worn into the scanning room but will be taken off immediately before the scan.

  • Are you aged 11-55?

    It is important to tell the radiographer if you are, or may be pregnant prior to the scan as steps can be taken to check if the scan is still necessary. At present, there have been no reported effects from MRI to the unborn child, however as a precaution we advise against scanning in the first trimester.

  • Safety

    You will complete a questionnaire with the radiographer prior to entering the scan room. It is important to answer the questions honestly and tell the radiographer about all the operations you have had. You will need to tell the radiographer about any internal implants e.g. joint replacements, heart stents etc. Prior to entering the room. You will also need to inform staff if you have ever had an eye injury involving metal.

  • Individual needs

    Every individual has different needs. Please inform a member of the ward staff before you attend for your scan so appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Each scan is different so the length of each scan may vary however most scans last between 20 and 30 minutes.

    Feeling anxious about your scan?

    It is normal to feel anxious about coming for your scan. The radiographer understands this and can reassure you throughout your time in the department and will ensure you are as comfortable as possible on the scanner bed. The radiographer will be able to talk to you throughout the scan via the intercom system and they will be able to see you throughout.

  • Contrast (dye) Examinations

    Some examinations require you to get an injection of dye through a vein. This is not always necessary but can provide more information. The decision of giving dye may be pre-planned or decided on the day of the examination by a consultant radiologist. If you have received dye then you will be required to stay in the department for at least 15 minutes after you have had the injection.

  • Aftercare

    A porter will be organised to take you back to the ward and the results of the scan will be available to the consultant by the end of that day. If dye has been given then a further aftercare leaflet will be provided once you have had your scan.

  • Further queries

    If you have any further questions or concerns, please speak to a member of staff who will do their best to answer these queries.

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