MRI scans are used to create detailed images of bones, organs, soft tissues, and virtually all other internal body structures. The images produced help diagnose injuries, damage and diseases to:
- Joints – including arthritis and tendon tears
- Abdomen and pelvis
- Brain – including tumours, abnormal growths, damage and causes of headaches
- Biliary system and pancreas
This diagnostic procedure is non–invasive and does not use X–Rays. MRI scans are considered to be safe with no known side effects. However as a strong magnet is used these scans are not suitable for everyone. Conditions that could cause complications include:
- Cardiac pacemaker or implantable defibrillator
- Catheter that has metal components
- Aneurysm clips and some stents
- A medication pump
- Cochlear (inner ear) implant
- Metallic foreign body within or near the eye
You will fill out a screening form on arrival so that anything that may be hazardous or cause complications to the scan will be identified in advance. We advise that pregnant women only have a scan when it is urgent as the long term effects on a developing baby are unknown. Call us on 01604 885002 if you have any concerns or questions.
A scan typically lasts between 30–45 minutes for one body part. During the scan we will ask you to lie on the scanning table. This table will enter the scanner, with the area of interest in the centre of the machine. Lights will be on at all times and both ends of the scanner remain open. When the scanner starts you will hear light knocking noises around you, this is normal and nothing to worry about. The essential thing to remember is to remain still during the scan so a good quality image can be produced.
Some MRI scans will require an injection into the arm or back of the hand. The fluid is clear but highlights and clarifies certain areas of the body. If you require an injection you will be notified upon arrival.
When the scan is complete the report will be sent to your referring clinician usually within 24 hours of your scan. You need to make an appointment with this person to obtain your results.