Before your visit
Every MRI scan is different and we will let you know if there is anything specific we need you to do in preparation for your visit. However, for your own convenience, 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.
- On the day of your appointment, you can eat and drink as normal, and you can take any medication that you would usually take. Please bring the details of any implants of devices you may have inside or attached to your body, with you on the day.
- Please familiarise yourself with how to find the Chenies Mews Imaging Centre.
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 which is an important document which you should complete carefully and accurately. Your radiographer will go through this checklist with you prior to going in to the scanner so do not worry if you are unsure how to answer any questions.
The Radiographer will then explain how the scanning procedure works and will tell you everything you need to know to get you ready for your scan. 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 need to have an injection of a contrast dye and/or medicine during your scan, then the radiographer may also place a small flexible cannula in your arm at this point so that we have everything prepared.
Your radiographer will take you into the scanning room, and ask you to lie down on the scanning table. They will then position you accurately so that the images we produce are of the best quality. In doing this, the radiographer may need to position some equipment around you. This is always done with your comfort 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. You will be given some headphones to protect your ears during the scan.
During the scan, the radiographer can see you at all times, and will speak to you throughout. They may also need to occasionally give you some breathing instructions. The intercom is two-way and you can talk to the radiographer so if you have any questions during the scan, all you need to do is ask. You will also be given an emergency buzzer to hold onto, which you can press at any time if you need to stop.
Every patient’s scan duration is different, but we will let you know how long yours will be and keep you updated throughout your 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.
We aim to provide a specialist report for all of our scans on the same day in all but the most complex of cases. This report 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 cost of the scan yourself, a member of staff will take payment for the scan so that results can be released without delay.
Obtaining a referral
Before any patient undergoes an MRI scan, they need a referral letter from their doctor. This ensures that we perform the most appropriate scan for you. You can bring your referral with you on the day of your scan, or your doctor can fax or email the form to us.
On the day
The Chenies Mews Imaging Centre has been purpose-designed to offer you the space and comfort you need to relax. When you arrive you will be asked to complete a registration form. You will then be asked a number of safety questions and we will give you a gown to wear.
When it’s time for your scan, you’ll be asked to pop some headphones in before lying down on the MRI scanner table. You will then listen for our instructions. We will be in constant communication when you’re having your scan, which will last for approximately 1 hour.
We will forward the results of your scan to your doctor within 24 hours. The image will be accompanied by an analysis from one of our specialists.