When your doctor has requested an MRI, you will come to Radiology for a procedure to enable us to look at any part of your body in cross-section.

What is an MRI?

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) allows us to look at any part of your body in cross-section (like looking at each slice of a loaf of bread in turn) using a magnetic field. Using the MR scanner, we can build up a picture of the whole area and see parts of the body which are difficult to see by any other method.

This procedure is done by a Radiologist (doctor). There will be some large machines, which are very safe. Specialised staff will remain with you throughout your stay. You will be awake during the procedure and a nurse will be with you at all times.

What will happen during the procedure?

Before entering the MRI scanning room, you must have completed the MRI Safety Questionnaire and confirm with us whether:

  • you have a pacemaker
  • you have metallic objects within or on your body prior
  • you have any Cerebral (Brain) aneurism clips

These items may not be compatible with MRI.

The Radiologist will guide you throughout the procedure:

  • You will be asked to remove all items of jewellery and clothing which contain metal, such as buttons, zips, wire in under-garments, keys and credit cards. You will be allocated a change cubicle and instructed to put on a gown.
  • Once changed, you will lie on a detachable table in the MR recovery area. The specialised staff will make you as comfortable as possible within the limitations of the machine and special coils which may be placed around the area requested to scan. The table will then be wheeled and docked onto the MRI scanner.
  • You need to hold your breath as instructed, which improves the quality of the images.
  • The MR Scanner makes a very loud sound, like a noisy jackhammer. You will be offered ear plugs or headphones and music if you wish. You can even bring in your own CD!
  • During the scan, an injection of contrast dye may be given to you into a vein in your arm or hand by the specialised staff or via a controlled injection pump. This will enhance images and assist with the diagnosis.

What happens after the procedure?

You can get changed back into your clothes, and go home.

In a medical emergency, call 000. If you are feeling unwell, see your local GP or go to your local hospital Emergency department for help.