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MRI FAQs

MRI is one of the most advanced imaging modalities available. MRI uses a very strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of the body’s internal structures.

MRI is a very safe method of imaging with no known side effects. However, due to the very strong magnet needed, it is not safe for patients who may have certain implanted devices.

What is an MRI scan?

An MRI scan is a type of imaging used to examine parts of the body such as the brain and spinal cord, bones and joints, breasts, heart and blood vessels, and internal organs.

It is typically used to diagnose conditions, plan treatment, and review the effectiveness of previous treatment. It uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves as opposed to radiation that is used in CT and x-rays.

What happens during the scan?

During an MRI scan, you lie on a flat bed that is moved electronically into the scanner. The scanner is operated by a trained radiographer who will be a different room, but you will be able to talk to them through an intercom and they will be able to see you through a window and on a television monitor throughout the scan.

As the scanner makes loud noises dues to the electric current in the coils being turned on and off, you will be supplied with earplugs and headphones.

Does it involve ionising radiation?

Unlike CT and plain film x-rays, MRI does not involve the use of radiation. Instead, strong magnetic fields and radio waves are used to produce detailed images of the inside of the body.

Will it hurt?

The scan should cause no pain, it only requires you to stay still during the scan. This is to ensure the best possible diagnostic images are produced.

Some MRI exams require the patient to receive Gadolinium contrast through an intravenous needle which may cause slight, temporary discomfort.

How long will the MRI take?

The length of the MRI scan can vary between 15-60 minutes depending on which/how many area(s) of the body are being scanned.

Will an MRI affect dental fillings?

No, an MRI will not affect dental fillings or cause them to dislodge as the metal in most fillings is not affected by the magnetic field.

Do I have to go all the way inside the MRI scanner?

Yes, to an extent. The portion of the body that is being imaged must be positioned in the middle of the scanner.  The scanner is larger than some other models, it is light and airy.  Most people do not find it too much of a problem to cope with.

Can I listen to music whilst having the scan?

Of course! If listening to music will make you feel more comfortable and relaxed, we can definitely accommodate it. We want our patients to feel as relaxed as possible whilst we obtain the best images. You can use a playlist on your ipod or phone that we can plug into the scanner.

Can I have an MRI if I am pregnant?

MR imaging is generally not performed on women in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.

Clinicians typically do not request MRI on pregnant women unless there are strong clinical indications where the benefit outweighs the risk. Depending on the condition and circumstances, other imaging may be more appropriate such as an ultrasound scan.

What do I need to bring with me?

If you are having a scan at our London Centre please bring your insurance details or insurance authorisation code if you have one.  It is best to leave all valuables at home, particularly jewellery and watches as you won’t be able to wear them in the scan room.

How much will it cost?

If you are paying for the scan yourself our current prices are as follows.

Self Pay Fees

One Area – £330

Two Area – £495

Three Area – £660

Four Area – £825

Five Area – £990

Six Area – £1,155

Multiparametric Prostate – £975

Breast – £495

Contrast Media (if required) – £35.00

Cardiac Self-pay Fees

Cardiac MRI (without contrast) – £925

Cardiac MRI (Standard with contrast) – £1,545

Cardiac MRI (Stress Study) – £2,075

Cardiac angiography (as additional examination) – £475