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MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Scan

MRI uses strong magnetic fields together with radio waves to create a more detailed image of your body than a CT scan. MRI is particularly useful for diagnosing tumours.

You will not need to avoid food and drink before your scan unless you are having a scan of your bile ducts (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography) in which case you will be asked not to eat or drink for a few hours before the scan.

The scanner is a bit like a tube, open at both ends, which you lie inside, keeping as still as possible during the scan. Because of the strong magnetic field you will be asked to remove any metal objects such as jewellery, hearing aids, etc.

For some MRI scans you may be given an injection of special contrast dye to show up certain tissues or blood vessels on the scan.

The procedure is painless, although you should let our staff know if you suffer from claustrophobia, in which case you may be offered a mild sedative. Most scans take around 20-30 minutes, although they can take longer. You should be able to go home straight after the procedure but need to avoid driving if you have been given a sedative.