Frequently asked questions
Are there any risks?
As far as is known at present, this is an extremely safe procedure. It does not involve the use of x-rays. You are placed in a very powerful magnetic field. If you have any small pieces of metal inside your body, you should inform the radiographer as in some cases you may not be able to have the examination.
For female patients, if you are or might be pregnant, you must make sure the doctor referring you or a member of staff in the radiology department knows as soon as possible. MRI scans are not advisable in early pregnancy unless there are special circumstances.
Your appointment at LivingCare
You will be taken into the MRI scan room and asked to lay on the couch. Pads and pillows may be used to help you stay still and maintain your position during imaging. You may be given a contrast medium (a dye),which helps to produce more detailed images. The contrast medium will be injected into a vein in your arm, which occasionally causes a warm feeling for a short while. If this is required you may need to have a blood test prior to your scan.
The couch will be moved slowly to position the part of your body being scanned in the centre of the scanner. The radiographers will retire to the control room but you will be able to talk to them via an intercom and they will be watching you all the time. It is important that you remain completely still while the images are being recorded.
During the scan, you may well find the machine very noisy and you will be given headphones/ or earplugs to use. If you feel uncomfortable or worried, do mention it immediately to the radiographer.
How long will it take?
The process of taking the images usually takes about 20–30 minutes and your total time in the department is likely to be about 45 minutes.
Are there any side effects?
No. You can drive home afterwards and return to work as necessary.
Is any special preparation required?
You don’t need to have any special preparation for a routine MR scan. Unless you have been told otherwise, you may eat and drink normally before and after the scan.