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Need an MRI Scan?

What are your options and what can you expect?

MRI scans provide detailed images, taken in sections through your body, to show abnormalities in your bones, organs and soft tissues and are also very effective in helping to plan and monitor your treatment. With no exposure to any radiation, MRI scans are one of the safest types of imaging procedures available.

From closed to open and even stand up, there is a choice

 Stand UpOpen MRIClosed MRI
Best suited for?The upright positioning allows symptoms from certain cardiovascular and neurological disorders, which only exhibit their symptoms when the patient is upright, to be seen more clearly giving physicians a more global view of pathology and its impact on function. The open aspect of the Open MRI Scanner allows for much greater patient comfort and a reduction in claustrophobia. With more flexibility in patient positioning, patients remain stiller, and calmer reducing movement helping to when avoid costly, repeated MRI exams. Due to its closed nature, a traditional MRI scan offers a stronger magnetic field, meaning it can offer more detailed imaging for certain conditions and procedures.
Can I be accompanied?Yes. However, the scanner may have to be tilted once you are in position, affecting where your chaperone can situate themselves.Yes. Due to the fixed nature of this open format MRI scanner, you can be accompanied by a friend or relative, so long as there is no medical reason which prevents them from being in close proximity to a very strong magnetic field.No. The closed MRI scanner is effectively a closed tube. Whilst your radiographer will be able to see you and communicate with you throughout the procedure, you will not be able to see outside of the scanner.
How much will it cost?£350 – £800Range from £350 – £800 depending on complexity of scan and area to be imaged£200 – £500
How long will it take?45 mins – 60 mins45 mins – 60 mins45 mins – 60 mins
Added benefits?Ability to see patient’s organs in their usual functioning position.Radiographers can use an open MRI scan to help deliver an image guided injection right to the most affected area, thanks to the detailed pathology the MRI scan offers and the open access of this format of scanner.As the most common form of MRI scan, these are more readily available.
AvailabilityThese machines tend to be in the minority. Due to the amount of space they take in a clinic, they are not a regular consideration.Open MRI Scanners are more readily available across the UK, although they are not the most common format. Generally, they are found in clinics and hospitals that look to specialise in patient comfort or minimally invasive surgery thanks to the flexibility of the open format in offering additional imagining solutions to consultants.  As the original MRI format, closed MRI scanners can be found at most clinics and hospitals.


Why might I need an MRI scan?

There are many reasons why you might wish to have a MRI scan, but the most obvious are to provide a more detailed look into your symptoms, investigate an injury, diagnose a disease or find out more about a medical condition. Patients also self-refer themselves to get peace of mind regarding particular health concerns they may have.

What can I expect when I arrive for my scan?

An MRI scan is routinely done as an outpatient procedure and is unlikely to require any advanced preparation. It is best to wear clothing that does not have metal parts; including zips, buttons and clasps.  Before your scan, you may be asked some questions about your health, previous operations, allergies and any medicines you are taking.

What do I have to do during an open MRI scan?

In a similar way to a closed MRI scan, you will need to lie still for the duration.  It will take in the region of 45 minutes to complete and your radiographer will be able to see and hear you throughout.  The open MRI scanner is a lot less noisy, making for a more reassuring experience.

Will I be alone during my scan?

Ordinarily, you would be on your own whilst an MRI scan is carried out; albeit in full communication with your radiographer. However, when undergoing an open MRI scan, you can be accompanied by a friend or relative if you are particularly anxious. Just ensure they are assessed in advance to make sure it is safe for them to do so.

Will I be told the results of my scan straightaway?

Avicenna offers a one-stop, same-day service for MRI scans. This means you can take away a full report, including images, on the same day as your scan.  The radiologist will talk through your results at the time, answering any questions you may have.  A copy of the report will also be sent to your GP or other medical professionals straight away.

Is an MRI scan safe?

MRI scans do not provide exposure to any radiation making them one of the safest types of imaging procedures.  MRI imaging, however, uses a very powerful magnet and would therefore be unsuitable in certain cases, including if you are pregnant, have a pacemaker, have recently had surgery or have any type of metal implant. Highlight any concerns to your radiographer in advance.

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