An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) produces images of organs and soft tissue throughout the body using magnetic fields and radio frequency waves. It occasionally requires an intravenous injection of contrast medium into a vein, to create clearer images.
Please advise us beforehand
If you have any metal implants of any kind, eg joint replacements.
If you have a pacemaker or neurostimulator implanted.
If you have worked with metal.
If you have renal impairment.
If you have significant claustrophobia.
If you are or may be pregnant.
If you have had any reaction to a contrast injection given for a previous MRI scan.
We will ask you to complete a questionnaire before the examination, and sign a consent to the contrast injection if it is required for your examination.
Allergic reactions to contrast material can occur but significant reactions are rare, and generally respond to adrenaline. Our staff members are equipped and trained to treat contrast reactions. Some scans create a slight sensation of heating. There are no adverse effects to the magnetic fields or radio waves used to generate the images.
Special instructions for diabetics
If your examination requires fasting, then book an early morning appointment and have your breakfast and diabetic medication after the examination.
If your examination will require an intravenous injection of contrast medium, we need to know your renal function. Please bring along the results of your most recent blood test creatinine level.
What happens during the procedure
You may need to change into a gown. You can wear comfortable soft clothing without any metal zippers or clips. You then lie on a bed which slides through the opening in the scanner. It slides in until the part being examined is in the centre of the scanner. A planning scan is then done followed by up to six different scans to show different features of the part examined. Each of these scans will take 30 seconds to 5 minutes to acquire, depending on the exact sequence. If contrast is required it is given just before the last 2 or 3 scans.
You need to keep perfectly still during each of the individual scans, otherwise the images will be blurred and may not be readable.
You may have to hold your breath for up to 30 seconds if scans are being done of your chest or abdomen.
How long does it take?
20-60 minutes in total depending on the examination.
After your examination
There are no restrictions after having an MRI.