MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is an imaging test that uses magnets and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the inside of your body.

  • MRI allows us to look at any part of your body in cross-section, and see parts of the body which are difficult to see by any other method.
  • It usually takes 30-60 minutes.
  • MRI does not use x-ray radiation.

What is an MRI?

An MRI is a medical imaging test that uses strong magnets and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the inside of your body.

Your comfort, privacy and safety will be maintained at all times.

How long does an MRI take?

The average scan lasts around 30 minutes. However, depending on what your doctor has asked us to investigate, some scans may take longer. Please advise if you have any appointment clashes.

Why is my scan time later than my appointment time?

All MRI patients are due to arrive 30 minutes before their scheduled scan time. This allows time for you to change, be cannulated if you require contrast, and to confirm details provided on the safety questionnaire.

MRI scan preparation

It is important that you follow the preparation instructions (refer to your appointment letter).

During the scan

For your safety, you will be asked to change from personal clothing into a gown provided. Lockers are available for your belongings.

The MRI scanner is a short tunnel, which is open at both ends. The radiographer will position you on the scanner table. The part of the body we want to image will be at the centre of the scanner. You need to remain as still as possible for the duration of the scan.

The machine makes loud knocking and humming sounds during the scan. You will be provided with earplugs for your comfort. With some scans we can provide headphones and play music.

What is MRI contrast?

Some scans require an injection of an MRI specific contrast agent (gadolinium dye) into one of your vein. The dye helps to improve the visibility of vessels and organs in your body. Please alert radiology staff if you have symptoms of feeling unwell during or after the MRI examination.

What are the risks of an MRI scan?

MRI uses no x-ray radiation. It can cause temporary warmth and tingling or twitching sensations during and immediately after the examination. There are certain types of implanted devices that are not compatible with MRI scanning. We will ask you about these in a safety questionnaire before booking, and confirm with you via a safety checklist on the day of your test.

What happens after the procedure?

You can discuss the results with your specialist.

Are you pregnant?

Please inform us if there is a possibility you could be pregnant.

Last updated 13 December 2022