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What to expect on the day of your MRI appointment

What to expect on the day of your MRI appointment

Posted on Tue Oct 31, 2023

We are aware that an MRI scan is, to many people, completely uncharted territory, which does bring with it some natural anxiety. Read on to learn what to expect on the day of your appointment, and how we help you feel as comfortable and safe as possible.

Once we’ve received your referral and you’ve been fully booked in for your scan, you’ll receive a confirmation with all the details of your appointment via email. 

Before your appointment 

In order to have your MRI scan, you’ll have to fill out a safety questionnaire to check if you are safe to proceed with an MRI. This will be completed either over the phone with one of our team members or you can do this through our online community, Connect. A radiographer will also go through this with you on the day of your scan. 

Advice 

For some scans, depending on the region you’re having scanned and the clinical indications, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything except water for up to six hours before your appointment. If this is the case, we will let you know in advance. 

If you’re having an MRI scan for the first time, we know that it is natural human instinct to be a little cautious of new and unfamiliar experiences. MRI scans are generally very noisy and this is normal. If you feel anxious, please read our blog on 9 ways we help claustrophobic MRI patients

At the clinic 

Check-in 

Please be advised that your arrival time is exactly when we expect you. Please try your best to arrive at your appointment at the expected time. If you’re running late, please call us on 020 7042 1888 to let us know. 

Before your scan 

Once you’re checked in, you’ll be greeted by the Radiographer, who will show you to the changing room, where you can lock away your valuables and change into a gown if necessary. They will go through your safety questionnaire, explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. 

Metal and electronic objects are not allowed in the MRI environment. You may be asked to remove clothing and accessory items that may interfere with your scan which include: 

  • Jewellery including rings, earrings, necklaces, or watches 
  • Credit cards and other cards containing magnetic data 
  • Pins, hairpins, and similar metallic items 
  • Clothing that has metal hooks, buttons, zippers, or other metal items on it 

Scan time 

You’ll then be taken through into the scanning room, where you’ll lie on the MRI table, which will move into the scanner.  

The body part being scanned may be positioned in a coil which will hold the area being scanned in position for the duration of your scan. The radiographer will sit behind a window during the MRI scan, where they will always have full visibility of you as well as being able to hear and speak with you at all times. 

Depending on your scan, earplugs and or headphones will be provided to help with the noise of the machine. If you wish, you can listen to music of your choice through the headphones during some scans. You can also request an eye mask if you think this may help. 

You’ll be given a hand-held call bell that you can squeeze at any time during the scan to talk to the Radiographer, who will also have regular contact with you updating you on the progress of your scan. 

After your scan 

Once our scan is complete, you can collect your valuables from the changing room. The reception team will be happy to help you with any questions you may have regarding your scan and will inform you of the next steps. 

Your MRI scan images 

Your images are uploaded to your account on our secure online community, Connect, immediately after the scan and we aim to send reports, which are completed by one of our Consultant Radiologists, to your referring clinician in one full working day. 

To discuss your report and to find out what your next steps might be, you should make an appointment with your referring clinician.  

If you have any questions or concerns ahead of your scan, please do not hesitate to call or email our friendly Bookings Team.

Haven’t booked in for a scan yet?

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