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You may feel nervous about your MRI scan, but we don’t want you to worry. Our experienced consultants and nurses are friendly and approachable, and can answer any questions that you may have regarding the scan. We’re here to help and guide you through the diagnostic process.

What is an MRI scan?

During a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan a large, powerful magnet, radio waves and an advanced computer are used to take incredibly detailed images of the relevant part of your body. MRI has become widely used because the pictures are so detailed that the radiologist can see even tiny changes. This accuracy helps in the early detection of disease and injury, allowing effective treatment planning.

There are no known side effects of an MRI scan, and it is normally a totally pain-free procedure. Some people should not have an MRI scan. If any of the following applies to you, please contact us on the number on your appointment letter:

  • You have a heart pacemaker
  • You have had an operation to your brain or heart
  • You have any type of metal implant
  • You have had an injury to your eyes involving metal fragments
  • You are, or might be pregnant
  • You have a kidney problem

Preparing for your MRI scan

First - we want to make sure that you are fully informed. Please do call us if you have any questions before your appointment. If certain medical terms aren’t clear, we will happily explain them to you. If you’d like to bring a friend or family member for support, that is no problem.

At your appointment, you will meet your Nuffield Health Radiographer - an expert in MRI scanning. Your Radiographer will be with you through the whole process, from explaining the scan and answering your questions beforehand, to performing the actual scan on the day.

  • Your appointment can take up to 40 minutes
  • You will be lying down on the scanning bed for around half of this time
  • For some scans, we can play you music while you are in the scanner, so you may want to bring a CD with you
  • Before you come to us, you can eat and drink as normal and take any prescribed medicine you’d normally take
  • Please wear clothing that has no metallic or plastic parts such as buttons, zips and hooks
  • If you are wearing an under-wire bra, we may ask you to remove it
  • During the procedure, you will be inside the scanner
  • If you suffer from claustrophobia, you may find this uncomfortable
  • Please contact us on the number on your appointment letter if you think claustrophobia may be a problem for you
  • There may be other options available, depending on the type of scan, and area to be scanned
  • When you arrive for your appointment at Nuffield Health we’ll check your name, date of birth and address
  • Don’t forget to bring the questionnaire that you will have filled out before you come
  • Your Radiographer will go through this with you, as well as explain the scanning procedure
  • If necessary, your Radiographer may ask you to change into a gown for the scan
  • This will only be if an article of clothing could interfere with the scan
  • You may also be asked to remove your jewellery.

May we have your permission?

At your appointment, we will ask you to sign a consent form to show that you agree to the procedure and fully understand what will happen. You are free to ask any questions you want, to ensure that you are comfortable with everything before you sign.

What happens during my scan?

  • The scanner is a large hollow cylinder, which is open at both ends
  • The area of your body to be scanned needs to be in the centre of the scanner, so you may enter it head or feet first, and parts of your body may remain outside the scanner
  • If you feel claustrophobic during the scan, you should tell your radiographer immediately
  • You will also be given a buzzer to hold which you can press to stop the scan if necessary
  • You will experience no pain during the scan, but some patients feel uncomfortable having to lie still for up to half an hour
  • You will hear quite loud mechanical sounds from the MRI scanner and may be offered headphones or earplugs to wear
  • Your Radiographer can see and hear you at all times during your scan and will be able to talk to you throughout the scan using an intercom
  • For some MRI scans, a special injection may be needed to ensure that we get the clearest scan. This depends on the area being scanned and what we need to see
  • A small percentage of people may have a minor reaction to the injection. If you have any concerns about this, please contact us on the number on your appointment letter.

After my MRI scan

Once your scan is done you will be able to leave and carry out your normal activities. A Radiologist will examine the images, and the results will be available within a few days. You can book an appointment with your doctor or healthcare professional who referred you to us to get the results of the scan.

Find your nearest hospital that provides this test
Bournemouth  

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
Overall rating View rating
Brentwood  

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good
Brighton  

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Good
Bristol  

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good
Cambridge  

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370 922
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavey Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Cheltenham  

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6SY

01242 246 552
Overall rating Good
Chester  

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Exeter  

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 276 591
Overall rating Good
Glasgow  

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

01413349441
Guildford  

Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF

01483 555 800
Overall rating Good
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good
Hereford  

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good
Ipswich  

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding
Leicester  

Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

0116 276 9401
Overall rating Good
Manchester Diagnostic Suite  

Nelson Street, Manchester, M13 9NQ

0161 272 5890
Overall rating Unknown
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 625431
Overall rating Good
Oxford  

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good
Plymouth  

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775861
Overall rating View rating
Shrewsbury  

Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282628
Overall rating Good
Taunton  

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286991
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 367439
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531111
Overall rating Good
Warwickshire  

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 427971
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good
Wolverhampton  

Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8LE

01902 793 269
Overall rating Good
York  

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715000
Overall rating Good

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