What is an MRI Scan?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of noninvasive scan that is used to create detailed images of the inside of the body. The scan relies on a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of the body part being scanned, and differs from an x-ray in that no form of radiation is used to penetrate the body or organs.

An MRI scanner is a round hollow tunnel, which is surrounded by a large cylindrical magnet. Patients will lie on a comfortable bed that then slides into the machine, and remain still inside the tube whilst the images are being produced. This is a safe and painless procedure that is carried out by trained radiographers, and is typically completed in under an hour.

MRI scans produce an extremely precise anatomical image of the body and can be used to identify the cause of a number of health issues. With the results of a scan, Radiologists can prescribe a plan to prevent, treat or manage each patient’s individual medical condition. It is often possible that an MRI scan does not detect any issues in the body, but even so, it’s always better to have peace of mind that you’ve been seen to by experts.

As one of those most versatile imaging techniques amongst a range of scanning technology options, MRI scans can examine almost any part of the body, including your internal organs, tissues and skeletal system. Here at Scan.com we also carry out several types of more complex scans.

How to Prepare for an MRI Scan

MRI scans require very little preparation, and unlike some other examinations, you can eat, drink and take any medication as normal beforehand, unless our medical team have advised otherwise.

You’ll have received a confirmation of the date and time of your appointment before your scan, and on the day at your chosen scanning centre, the radiographer will be ready for your arrival. The radiographer will run through how the procedure will proceed, and will always be happy to answer any questions you may have. You’ll also be asked to complete a final MRI safety form, and give a signature of consent.

Before entering the scanning room you must remove any metal materials on your person and put these in a secure locker along with your belongings. Some patients may wish to remain in their own clothes, if so we advise you wear loose, comfortable clothing. Alternatively, medical gowns are available. At this point any patients who experience claustrophobia should let the radiography team know — they will look after you throughout the procedure, but if you’d prefer it’s possible to take anti-anxiety medication to help you rest.

What happens after an MRI scan?

After your scan, the images will be reported on by a Consultant Radiologist — a Doctor who specialises in the interpretation of diagnostic images. The report is usually completed shortly after the scan and will be sent to you within 7 working days.

The radiologist will also send your report to the Scan.com clinical team. If there are any issues detected, your dedicated clinician will contact you for a follow-up consultation. They will discuss your results with you, and let you know what you need to do next.

The report can be sent to your GP or consultant if requested. Alternatively, your own digital copies of your results can be taken to any further appointments.

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