Preparing For Your Scan
Every MRI scan is different and we will tell you everything you need to know in order to prepare for your scan. However, as a general rule of thumb, we would always recommend the following:
- Female patients are advised to wear as little eye makeup as possible, especially if you are having your brain/eyes scanned.
- Patients are advised that all jewellery will need to be removed before your scan. Therefore, please do not bring anything with you that you are not happy to lock away in your changing room.
- For most scans, you can eat and drink normally and take medication as normal prior to your scan. However, if you are having an MRI scan of your heart, we may need you to abstain from taking certain medications and from eating or drinking certain foods prior to your scan. If this applies to you, we will make sure you are aware of this when we confirm your appointment.
- Please familiarise yourself with how to find the Chenies Mews Imaging Centre, particularly if your are driving or taking public transport.
We aim to make your scan as pleasant and comfortable as possible. If you have any concerns prior to your appointment, please contact us so that we may discuss your concerns and put your mind at rest.
When You Arrive
When you arrive at the Chenies Mews Imaging Centre, please report to the reception desk where a member of staff will give you some paperwork to complete. This paperwork will include a safety checklist, an important document which you should complete carefully and accurately. Your radiographer will go through this checklist with you prior to entering the scanner, so do not worry if you find you are unsure how to answer any questions.
The radiographer will then explain your scan to you and will tell you everything you need to know to get you prepared for your scan. You may need to get changed into a gown and you will be given a changing cubicle where you will be able to get ready for your scan in private and keep any belongings locked away safely. If you require an injection during your scan, we will also use this time to place a small flexible tube called a cannula into a vein in your arm, so that it is in place and ready for use.
Your radiographer will take you into the scanning room, and ask you to lie down on the scanning table so that you are comfortable. They will then accurately position some scanning equipment around you so that the images we produce are of the best quality. Whilst doing this, your comfort is always taken into consideration.
Once you are ready, the radiographer will then move you into the correct position in the scanner, at which point, all you have to do is lie still and relax. During scanning, you will not feel anything but you will hear lots of different noises coming from the scanner. Whilst sometimes loud, these noises are perfectly normal and show that the scanner is working properly and doing exactly what we need it to. You will be given some earplugs and headphones to protect your ears during the scan and it is important that these are worn at all times.
During the scan, the radiographer can see you at all times, and will speak to you throughout. We may need you to hold your breath briefly at times, and the radiographer will make sure you know when we need you do this. You can also talk to them so if you have any questions during the scan, all you need to do is ask. You will be given an emergency buzzer to hold onto, which you can press at any time if you need to stop the scan quickly.
MRI scans can vary in duration depending on what pictures we need to obtain. The radiographer will keep you updated on your progress throughout the scan.
After Your Scan
Once your scan is finished, the radiographer will bring you out of the scanner and take you back to your changing cubicle where you can collect your belongings. You are welcome to sit in our waiting room for as long as you need before heading off. You should not feel any side effects from the scan, although it is not uncommon for people to feel a little disorientated for a short time after lying so still in an unfamiliar environment.
Our doctors will provide a detailed report of your scan within 24 hours, which is sent directly to your doctor. A copy of the scan is also placed onto a CD for your records, and this is also sent to your doctor in the first instance. When you see your doctor, they will then give this to you for safekeeping. We will ask you when you are next seeing your doctor so that we can ensure that everything is available to them for when they need it.
If the cost of your scan is covered by an insurance policy, you do not need to do anything further as we will liaise with your insurer directly for billing. If you fund the scan yourself, a member of staff will take payment for the scan so that results can be released without delay.