• Most MRI scans take 20 - 40 minutes
  • No ionising radiation
  • Uses magnetic field and radio-frequency pulses
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Everything you need to know about MRI

How MRI scans work

The MRI machine is shaped like a large tube which is open at both ends. A magnetic field and radio-frequency pulses are used to create the image which means there is no radiation at all.

The magnetic field is very strong so therefore no metal can be taken into the room. You must disclose any metallic implants when you make your booking.

An MRI scan can be used to examine most parts of the body, including:

  • Brain and spine
  • Joints, bones and muscles
  • Breast, prostate and abdomen

Patient information

Only Lumus Imaging centres co-located in a hospital can give Conscious Sedation. If you need it, please discuss this with your referring doctor so they can organise it with our Lumus Imaging team.

What to expect

An MRI scan is generally non-invasive. The radiologist may ask the radiographer to give you an injection of contrast (Gadolinium) towards the end of the scan to collect further information.

MRI scans are loud due to switching electronic currents directed through coiled electromagnets. Ear plugs or headphones are used during the scan, allowing you to listen to music. You'll also be given a buzzer to speak with the radiographer if necessary.

Request a MRI appointment
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The day of the scan

The night before
Drink plenty of fluids so you are well hydrated
Day of scan
Arrive 20 mins before appointment and bring any relevant previous imaging for comparison
Prior to scan
Cannula and gown
The MRI Scan
Lie as still as possible
After the scan
Finalise appointment with reception