Questions? Call 0333 344 1811
How to book your Medical Scan
I do not have a Referral Letter
If you do not have the referral letter from your GP or any clinician - please fill in the Self Refer form and we will have a doctor phone you to recommend an appropriate scan and prepare the instructions for the scan. The imaging department will then call you to provide an appointment.
I have a Referral Letter
If you have a referral letter from your GP, Consultant, Physiotherapist or Osteopath - simply upload the letter and the imaging department will call you to provide an appointment as per your convenience. The report will be sent to the referring clinician after the scan.
What is an MRI Scan?
MRI Scan is a technique which uses strong magnetic fields to view detailed images of the inner body. Normally the machine looks like a large tube and the person has to lie down for the scan, however there are some different types of machines (Open MRI and Upright MRI) which are not like a tube and a person can have the scan either laying down, sitting on a chair or standing up.
What does an MRI scan detect?
MRI scans can be used for imaging of almost any part of the body. Some of the prominent cases are:
- Musculoskeletal scans for bone, joint, muscle and tissue. This includes the Spine, Hip, Knee, Shoulder, Elbow, Ankle, Arm and Leg.
- For detecting the abnormalities in the Brain, Neck, Spinal cord, Internal Ears and Orbits.
- Breasts tissues and implant ruptures
- Cardiac scans for heart and blood vessels
- Abdomen and Pelvic scans for organs such as Kidney, Liver, Pancreas, Spleen, Gall Bladder, Ovaries, Uterus, Small Bowel, Colon and Prostate.
What body parts can be examined with an MRI scan?
MRI scans are generally used to examine Abdomen, Ankle, Arm, Brain (Head), Breast, Chest Wall, Face, Feet, Gall Bladder, Heart, Hip, Inner Ears (IAMS), Kidney, Knee, Leg, Liver, Neck, Orbits, Pancreas, Pelvis, Prostate, Shoulder, Spleen, Spine, Temporomandibular Joints, Wrist and more.
How long does the MRI scan take?
The MRI scan normally takes between 15 to 25 minutes for one body area. MRI scans are generally carried out as an outpatient procedure. You can resume normal activities immediately after the scan, unless any sedatives are used during the scan.
How quick are the reports?
The scan images are available immediately after the scan for you to take home. There is an additional written report which is produced by a certified radiologist. The reporting time varies from centre to centre and is generally within 1 to 3 working days. Our staff will let you know an approximate time when you can have the reports.
What is a contrast?
Sometimes the doctor or the radiologist may recommend contrast agent to be used with the MRI scan. These are agents used to improve the visibility of internal body structures. The most commonly used contrast agent is “Gadolinium” based. Before giving the contrast injection, the radiographer would need to know if the Kidneys are functioning properly; therefore a recent (within last 12 weeks) blood test is required to confirm that kidneys are functioning properly.
Are there any Risks or Side Effects?
MRI scans are generally very safe and without side effects. MRI scanning machines does not involve an X-rays or radiations. Some of the conditions where MRI Scan may not be a safe procedure:
- Pacemaker or ICD – if you have a device installed to control your heartbeat, then it would not be possible to have the MRI scan in any machine and special arrangements needs to be done.
- Artificial Heart Valves
- Metal plates, implants, screws or wires – In some of these cases the radiographer may not allow to have an MRI scan.
- Nerve Stimulator – If you are using a device to regulate the nerve pain, this device may not be MRI safe.
- Aneurysm Clips – used to treat blood vessels
- Metallic fragments in eyes or blood vessels.
- Cochlear Implant - device used for hearing aid.
- Drug pumps installed in the body to manage pain.
- IUD – Intrauterine device placed in the womb.
- Artificial joints for Knee and Hip.
- Surgical clips and staples.
- Tattoos – This may have a burning sensation during the scan if they contain traces of metal.
For all the above conditions, please speak to the radiographer/radiologist for safety check and alternatives.
What is the difference between MRI scan and CT scan?
The major difference is that a CT scan uses X-rays (radiations) while an MRI scan uses the magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of the body. MRI is a better modality to view the tissues. CT scans are however, faster and more comfortable than MRI scans.