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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses simple radio waves in conjunction with a very powerful magnet to produce computerised sectional images of various parts of the body. Unlike some other imaging methods, MRI does not use X-Rays and has no known side-effects. The following information will tell you a little about what to expect from your scan but if you have any questions please ask the radiographer when you come for your appointment.

MRI Services:

  • Routine Brain
  • C-Spine Complete
  • C-Spine Limited
  • T-Spine Complete
  • Shoulder
  • Hand/Wrist
  • Hips
  • Knee
  • T-Spine Limited
  • L-Spine Complete
  • Ankle
  • Foot
  • MRI with or without contrast
  • Abdomens
  • MRAs

Although there are no known side-effects associated with MRI, there are certain people who we cannot scan for safety reasons. They are people with pacemakers, metal fragments in their eyes, surgical clips or certain other types of implants. For this reason you will be asked to fill in a medical questionnaire and the radiographer will check your replies with you. We also try to avoid scanning patients during the early stages of pregnancy unless there are good medical reasons for doing so.

When you arrive
Your safety questionnaire will be checked, the radiographer will explain the procedure to you and will answer any questions you may have. You will be asked to remove all metallic objects, credit cards, jewellery, spectacles and possibly, make-up (mascara contains iron!). You may also be asked to change into a hospital gown.

The scan
Once you are ready for your scan, the radiographer will position you on the scanner bed and make you as comfortable as possible. It is vital that you lie perfectly still for the scan – being comfortable will help.

During the scan you will hear loud, rhythmic knocking sounds. This is normal and you will be given ear protection if requested to keep noise to a minimum.

Click here to hear a wave file of the typical sound of an MRI Scanner in operation. (108k)

After the scan
Once the scan is finished you may go. The many images we have obtained will be studied by a radiologist (a doctor expert in the interpretation of MRI scans) who will send his report to the doctor who sent you for the scan.
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