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MRI Patient Information | LivingCare Medical Services

MRI

An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. You lie inside the tube during the scan.

An MRI scan at LivingCare can be used to examine the following parts of the body:

  • brain and spinal cord
  • bones and joints
  • Internal structures of your ear

The results of an MRI scan can be used to help diagnose conditions, plan treatments and assess how effective previous treatment has been.

The machine uses a magnetic field and radio waves, together with an advanced computer system to build up a series of images, each one showing a thin slice of the area being examined. These images are very detailed and can show both bones and soft tissues in the body and can provide a great deal of information. Using the computer system the ‘slices’ can obtained in any direction.

ARE THERE ANY RISKS?

As far as is known at present, this is an extremely safe procedure. It does not involve the use of x-rays. You are placed in a very powerful magnetic field. If you have any small pieces of metal inside your body, you should inform the radiographer as in some cases you may not be able to have the

examination. For female patients, if you are or might be pregnant, you must make sure the doctor referring you or a member of staff in the radiology department knows as soon as possible. MRI scans are not advisable in early pregnancy unless there are special circumstances.

YOUR APPOINTMENT AT LIVINGCARE

You will be taken into the MRI scan room and asked to lay on the couch. Pads and pillows may be used to help you stay still and maintain your position during imaging. You may be given a contrast medium (a dye),which helps to produce more detailed images. The contrast medium will be injected into a vein in your arm, which occasionally causes a warm feeling for a short while. If this is required you may need to have a blood test prior to your scan. The couch will be moved slowly to position the

part of your body being scanned in the centre of the scanner. The radiographers will retire to the control room but you will be able to talk to them via an intercom and they will be watching you all the time. It is important that you remain completely still while the images are being recorded.

During the scan, you may well find the machine very noisy and you will be given headphones/ or earplugs to use. If you feel uncomfortable or worried, do mention it immediately to the radiographer.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?

The process of taking the images usually takes about 20–30 minutes and your total time in the department is likely to be about 45 minutes.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?

No. You can drive home afterwards and return to work as necessary.

IS THERE ANY SPECIAL PREPARATION REQUIRED?

You don’t need to have any special preparation for a routine MR scan. Unless you have been told otherwise, you may eat and drink normally before and after the scan.

Your MRI scan can be performed at:

 

Thorpe Park Clinic

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