Routine MRI 16 to 18 weeks wait time
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of diagnostic imaging that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs, bones and tissues within your body.
These images can be further processed to produce 3D images that may be viewed from many different angles.
An MRI scan can be used to image any part of the body. The images produced can be used to help diagnose and monitor many medical conditions.
Research has been carried out into whether the magnetic fields and radio waves used during an MRI scan could pose a risk to the human body. No evidence has been found to suggest there’s a risk, which means MRI scans are one of the safest medical procedures available.
The magnetic field from an MRI scan affects metals such as iron, nickel and steel, so they're not suitable for everyone. As a precaution, MRI scans are not usually done on women who are less than 12 weeks pregnant.
Safety is primary for MRI imaging. Please contact the MRI department prior to your appointment if you have had:
- Any heart or brain surgery
- Worked with metal
- Any implants, such as metal implants, electronic implants, magnetic implants etc
Having something metallic in your body does not necessarily mean you cannot have an MRI but it is very important that the Radiographer performing your scan is aware of it. They will decide on a case-by-case basis if you are suitable for MRI scanning or whether further measures need to be taken to ensure your safety.
Healthlink referrals accepted
Please ensure to include:
- Patients Full Name
- Patients Date of Birth
- Patients Address
- Specific scan required
- Clinical Information/Reason for referral
- GP Signature and MCN
- Date of Referral
Additional appointment details
- Appointments only
- these services are available to both Inpatient and Outpatient
- Request are scheduled according to priority/ urgency
- Direct payment may be available in some circumstances subject to your private health insurance provider and policy
For further info on referral and health insurance, visit our GP referrals section.
Your MRI scan will be performed by a highly skilled Radiographer who has been trained in all aspects of MRI. They will give you detailed instruction and look after your safety throughout the scan. Our dedicated team of Consultants Radiologists are on site and use special computers and software to interpret your MRI scan and will provide a detailed report on their findings.
A referral from a Consultant or GP is required before booking a diagnostic procedure. An MRI scan is routinely done as an outpatient procedure and will normally take 30-45mins to perform. (Please note some examinations may take longer than this).
You may be required to fast for a number of hours before your MRI scan of your Abdominal/Pelvic Region. This preparation will be detailed for you in your appointment letter.
Patient safety is primary during an MRI examination. You will be required to complete an MRI Safety Questionnaire before entering the MRI Environment. One of our Radiographers will double check all this information with you before proceeding with your scan.
We ask all patients to change into a hospital gown for their MRI scan. All your belongings will need to be left outside of the scanning room. No metallic items can enter the scanning room. If possible, please leave any valuables at home and have all jewellery removed before attending for your scan. Lockers are available to store your belongings and the Radiographer will keep your key safe until after your scan.
We understand that having an MRI scan can cause some anxiety and stress. Please let our skilled and friendly staff know if you are feeling anxious, they are there to assist you in making it as easy as possible.
You will be required to wear earplugs and headphones for your MRI scan. MRI scans are very noisy so this is for your safety. We can play the radio or some music for you if you wish. (This may not be possible if you have to follow breathing instructions during your scan.)
Some Abdominal/Pelvic MRI scans will require you to follow breathing instructions for some or all parts of the scan. This is very important to achieve clear, high quality images for the Radiology Consultant to interpret. The breathing instructions will be explained to you before your scan begins.
An MRI is a painless procedure. You may require an injection of a special dye (contrast agent) to give us more information. If required, a cannula will be placed in a suitable vein in your arm or hand by a Radiographer and the dye will be given through that when needed. Reactions to this dye are very rare.
During your MRI you will be asked to lie very still on a table which moves into the MRI scanner. The body area being scanned has to be at the centre of the machine. If the patient moves during an MRI scan it causes blurring on the images and can mean they become undiagnostic. Our MRI scanners have lighting and air being circulated through them at all times. The Radiographer will make you as comfortable as possible.
You will be given a bell to hold in your hand. You can squeeze this bell if you are having difficulty and need to stop the scan. The MRI scanner has a two way intercom and the Radiographer will be able to speak to you during the scan to check on you. There is also a camera in our machine so we can see you at all times.
For the majority of MRI scans you will be able to leave the MRI department immediately and return to your normal daily activities. If you have had a cannula placed for an injection of dye, this will be removed by the Radiographer before you leave.
Your images will be studied by a Consultant Radiologist (a highly trained Radiology Doctor who uses X-ray and MRI scans to diagnose and treat illnesses.) The results of your scan will be sent to the Doctor that referred you. This may take a few days.
If you are an inpatient, the scan images and results will be available on the internal hospital system for the team looking after you on the ward.