Most MRI scans are requested on a non-urgent, consultant-led basis. This means you’re subject to a maximum 18 weeks waiting time from your NHS e-Referral Service appointment booking day OR when the hospital gets your referral letter. Then there is a further wait for your results of around 24 hours.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses a combination of strong magnetic fields and radiowaves to produce detailed images of the inside of your body. It is particularly good at identifying problems in the spine, the brain and in the joints. It is also helpful for looking at other parts of the body, often when other types of scan have not given a full picture. Unlike x-rays, MRI scans do not use radiation. At Opus Diagnostics we offer 3T scanning for high quality images. All our scans are carried out by experienced radiographers and reported by a Consultant Radiologist.
Please read the following information before your MRI appointment.
Before your MRI scan
It is important to arrive 10 minutes before your appointment to complete the screening process that ensures your safety before your scan. Unless instructed otherwise, you can eat and drink normally before your appointment. Before you enter the MRI machine, it is essential to remove all jewellery, and you might have to change out of your clothes. Before you enter the scan room, the radiographer will go through your safety questionnaire with you.
During your MRI scan
Depending on what kind of MRI you need, you will need to lie still for 15 minutes to an hour during your scan. The scan is not painful, and we will do our best to make you feel comfortable (it is important to tell your radiographer if you have any pain or discomfort during your scan). It is essential to lie as still as possible during your scan as any movement can disrupt the images being formed. The MRI machine can make some loud noises, so we will provide some ear protection beforehand.
Your images will be available immediately on your scan for your Consultant to analyse. You will receive a formal report within X days/hours. There is no aftercare necessary after your scan, and you can eat, drink, and exercise as usual. You will receive a copy of your scans. All patient information is protected and stored using the strictest security measures.
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Well, it’s the National Health Service after all. It’s looking after the vast majority of patients in the UK. So, you are competing with everyone you live nearby who may have more critical healthcare concerns than you. You can skip this queue if you opt to get a private MRI scan and pay for it yourself.
Also known as a private MRI can, a self-pay MRI is where you seek treatment off NHS with a private GP, surgery or clinic. When looking for someone to ‘self-refer me for MRI’; many people don’t realise they can book in directly with a private clinic.
Yes. If you’re willing to pay for the scan yourself, you simply need to answer a few questions and then you can book in an MRI scan, knee scan or nearly any other sort of scan.
Yes. It’s also possible to book for someone else if you’re their carer. Let’s say you need a knee pain MRI, simply answer a few questions about why you want the scan and some extra safety questions and you can get booked in.
In the simplest terms, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnets to take pictures of the body. It works by placing the body in a strong magnetic field which causes all your internal protons to line up and by pulsing them; you can take pictures of the body and of anything that doesn’t behave like it should (like a tumour).
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) takes between 15 to 90 minutes depending what you’re trying to scan and how many pictures you need to take of the body.
Well, no one likes confined spaces. And inside the MRI can feel a bit close-quarters. But if you do have claustrophobia, let the team know and there are some techniques they can use to help relieve your anxiety.
First, an MRI is a bit safer. X-rays use radiation but an MRI uses magnets. Radiation in large doses is not good for you. Your GP may suggest an MRI for soft tissue injuries & concerns but an x-ray for bones.
An MRI lets your GP see all your bones, organs and soft tissue inside your body without needing to cut you open. If you’re concerned you have a disease or injury, an MRI might be used if a CT scan or x-ray showed no results. You may also want to get a self-pay MRI or private MRI scan done for a general check if you’ve never had one before.
X-rays are not that good at looking for problems in soft tissue or organs. And ultrasounds are reviewed in real time through a video feed which might not be suitable for you GP practice or health concern.
If you’re experiencing knee pain, a knee MRI can look at the ligaments, muscles and tissues surround the knee to identify the cause of your knee pain within 15 to 45 minutes on average. This is because only your lower body needs to go into the MRI machine.
We can help you with detailed information about who should NOT get an MRI. But in general, you should avoid an MRI if you have kidney problems, have recently become pregnant or might be pregnant or are allergic to the dye used to contrast the scan. Also, you should not have an MRI if you have any metal in your body, are afraid of tight spaces to an extreme degree or you can’t lie still. Lastly, if your GP advises against an MRI; you probably shouldn’t have one.
A full body MRI is a five-part scan that looks at the brain, neck arteries, chest, abdomen and pelvis. It takes around 1 hour where you’ll need to lay still in the MRI chamber. There is an optional add on for laboratory blood testing which you could have drawn on the day.
Patients opt for a full body MRI if they’re suffering from any unexplained symptoms or looking for any warning signs of illness. Since some ailments effect different body parts, it’s advised to get a full body scan to check for any number of conditions like tumours, spinal cord injuries, aneurysms, blockages, pinched nerves, compressions or broken ligaments.