Questions about: MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging scan)
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A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan uses magnets and radio waves to produce both two and three dimensional pictures of the inside of your body. It’s suitable for every part of the body, including bones, soft tissues (such as blood vessels, ligaments and muscles) and the brain, and so can help to diagnose and monitor many different medical conditions.

Why you might need it

Your doctor may recommend a MRI scan for a number of reasons. Parts of the body examined with MRIs include:

  • Joints and muscles - An MRI scan is often used to look at tissue around joints and bones, and can help to diagnose injuries to your elbow, hip and knee. It can also detect conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, crepitus or tendon tears.
  • Heart - MRI scans can capture images of your heart including the valves and blood vessels, helping to diagnose heart defects or disease. They may be used to examine the heart after a heart attack.
  • Brain - An MRI scan can be used to help analyse the brain for tumours, possible causes of a headache and abnormal tissue growth. It may also be used to assess any damage to the brain after a stroke.
  • Tumours - MRIs can produce detailed images of soft tissue, which show the difference between normal and diseased tissue such as a tumour. It can also check the progress of a tumour to establish whether it is shrinking or growing.
  • Bowel incontinence

An MRI scan may also be recommended to detect bladder cancer.

The magnetic field from an MRI scan affects metals such as iron, nickel and steel, so they're not suitable for everyone. You might not be able to have one if you have a pacemaker, certain implants, artificial joints or metal clips in your body for example. As a precaution, MRI scans are not usually done on women who are less than 12 weeks pregnant.

If you decide to have your scan with us, you will be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation. Spire Healthcare can provide you with a single, fixed price so there are no surprises. Please read Spire Healthcare's terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price when paying for yourself. Finance options are available through our partner Omni Capital Retail Finance Ltd, 10 Norwich Street, London, EC4A 1BD.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care.

All of our radiographers are of the highest standard and b