What is an MRI Scan?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) combines a powerful magnet with a sophisticated computer to produce pictures of any part of the body without the need for X-rays. The detail in these pictures is so good that the scanner can see even small abnormalities. This accuracy helps in the detection of disease and injury, allowing effective treatment to start as soon as possible.
MRI scans are used to give detailed information about bones and joints, the head and neck, and nearly every organ in the body, including blood vessels. The information is collected electronically over a short period of time, then translated into a series of images on a computer screen. These images can be transferred on to film or CD, so that a specialist can study them closely and report the findings to your GP or consultant.
Why should you have your scan at Spire Liverpool Hospital?
Your procedure will be performed in the safety of a full hospital setting by an experienced radiographer, using up-to-date technology. Our highly trained staff will ensure that your visit is as comfortable as possible.
Do you need a referral?
Yes. We will need a referral from your consultant or GP.
What does your MRI examination involve?
We will need to clarify that it is safe for you to be scanned by asking you a series of questions. You will be asked to lie on a comfortable couch and moved into position for your scan. It is important for you to relax. The scan will normally take about 30 minutes, however more complex scans may take up to one hour.
You will hear the noises of the scanner which is quite normal and nothing to worry about. The radiographer will be in contact with you throughout the examination. It may be possible for a friend or relative to accompany you throughout the examination if this would help you relax.
What preparation will be required?
Unless you are told otherwise, no special preparation is needed for an MRI scan and patients may continue to eat and drink as normal and take prescribed medicines. To avoid any injury to yourself or damage to your belonging, you will be asked to remove any metallic objects such as your watch, any loose change, keys, credit cards, jewellery, mobile phone, spectacles, metallic dentures and hearing aids.
Any metallic substance on your body can affect the quality of the diagnostic images. We need to know this for your own safety as it could cause discomfort or injury when you are placed in the magnetic field. In addition it could exclude you from the examination. If you have ever had an accident where metal fragments may have entered into your eye or surrounding areas, you must inform the MRI staff before your appointment date. This will enable us to determine your suitability for a scan.