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What to expect during an mri scan

Different equipment will be placed on or near your body depending on what type of scan you are having. If it is a heart scan a piece of equipment called a chest coil will be placed across your chest area. If it is a brain scan a head coil will be placed around your head. This helps the scanner to take more accurate pictures.

During the scan you will hear a variety of tapping, knocking and bleeping noises. This is the normal sound of the scanner taking pictures. During the scan itself it is important to lie still. The length of the scan will vary, depending on the type of scan being done, our staff will be happy to advise you how long it will take. You may also at times be asked to hold your breath while pictures are taken.

During parts of the scan when the operator is not talking to you, you can listen to the radio or music through the headphones. You can bring in your favourite CD if you would like to.

If you are visiting as an NHS or private patient the results of your scan will be sent to your referring consultant, usually within 2 days.

If you are a research participant your pictures will be analysed over several weeks/ months, along with scans from other participants who have also volunteered to take part in the study. The images taken are for a specific research purpose and are not suitable for diagnosis of conditions, they do not form part of your medical records. For this reason we are unable to provide medical assessments to research participants.

In the unlikely event that we do see something unusual on your scan we will speak to a relevant consultant and will be in touch if there is a need for further medical tests or treatment.