Our state of the art MRI scanner was installed in October 2005. An MRI scanner is basically a large, very strong ring shaped magnet combined with a powerful computer that is able to produce detailed pictures of parts of the body without using X-rays.
MRI has a wide range of uses. It is used in the investigation of many common ailments including back pain, headaches and joint problems. It can also be used to assess more complex problems like the blood supply to the legs.
The patient lies on a firm couch that is moved into the small tunnel in the centre of the magnet. A small open frame is often placed around the area to be examined.
The scanner is quite noisy but you can listen to music to mask this.
Depending on the area being studied, you may expect to be in the scanner for between 20 to 40 minutes.
The Radiographers who perform the scan are in an adjoining room. They can see the patient through a large window and can talk to the patient throughout the examination.
Some patients are not able to have an MRI scan, for example those who have a pacemaker. Patients will be asked to complete a questionnaire to make sure there are no such problems before going into the scanning room.
Certain examinations require a small injection to highlight blood vessels .This is usually given into a vein on the back of the hand or in front of the elbow. The patient will be informed in advance of any specific preparation that may be required for their examination, like a full bladder or fasting.
Hugh Cassidy-Jones, the Superintendent radiographer and his team of radiographers and assistants will assist you during your visit to the department. They will perform the scan and can deal with any questions that you may have before or during the procedure.