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MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

What is an MRI?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce high-quality images of the internal structure and function of the inside of the body.

Is it safe?

An MRI scan is a painless and safe procedure. However, not everyone can have an MRI scan and it important to let us know if you have any of the following:

  • You are pregnant or may be pregnant
  • You have a cardiac pacemaker
  • You have an artificial heart valve
  • You have had surgery on your head, eyes, ears, or spine
  • You have any metal implants like joint replacements

Will it be comfortable?

Our flatbed Open MRI Scanner offers patients a much more comfortable experience than the confined space of tradition closed scanner tunnels. Open MRI scans are suitable for almost anyone and ideal for the following groups of patients:

  • Claustrophobic or anxious
  • Bariatric
  • Limited mobility
  • Children and the elderly

Our Harley Street Centre has the Philips 1.0T Panorama that gives high field image quality equivalent to that of a conventional 1.5T cylindrical MRI scanner system.

Cardiac MRI

Cardiac MRI is commonly regarded to be the most accurate non-invasive method of assessing the structure and function of the heart, often providing more valuable information than other imaging methods such as X-ray or Ultrasound.

A cardiac MRI is useful for checking any problems with your heart, including:

  • congenital heart disease
  • the condition of your heart valves
  • damage to your heart after a heart attack
  • the amount of healthy heart muscle if you have heart failure
  • reduced blood flow to the heart muscle that may cause chest pain (angina)
  • coronary heart disease

We offer cardiac MRI scans to enable earlier diagnosis of heart abnormalities and guide clinical decision making for effective treatment.

Preparation

Few simple instructions before your scan:

* Ensure you come dressed in clothes without zips or metal buttons if possible

* Remove any loose metal objects like keys or coins from your pockets and leave valuable possessions, such as jewellery and watches, at home

* You should arrive 15 minutes before your appointment

The Scan/What to expect

MRI scans typically last from between 30-60 minutes depending on which body part(s) are being examined.


The machine can be loud and create knocking sounds, which may be disruptive; therefore patients are given headphones to play their choice of music.

After the scan

Results are usually ready within 24-48 hours and sent to the referring clinician.

All patients are supplied with a CD consisting of the images from their scan.