020 7370 6003 The truly open Upright™ MRI
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For Patients

Frequently asked questions

What is MRI?

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) utilises a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to form images of your body. It is non-invasive, painless and does not use any ionising radiation.

Why is Upright MRI different?

This is a truly open MRI that can scan you in different positions. Through the utilisation of a specially designed MRI system we can offer weight-bearing scans – sitting or standing. The design of the system allows the patient to be positioned in different postures (e.g. flexion or extension) so that the patient may be examined in the position where they experience pain. The reason to do this is that some pathologies are underestimated or even not seen in a conventional supine MRI scan. The technique has value in many applications: e.g. spine, knees, hips, ankles. This has been proven in scientific studies and documented in peer reviewed publications.

In addition, it offers the possibility of performing an MRI scan on patients who could not otherwise tolerate the examination. This may include the claustrophobic patient, who benefits from the truly open nature of the equipment, and the severely kyphotic patient or emphysema sufferer who simply cannot lie down. It can also facilitate scanning of large patients who struggle to fit conventional ‘bore’ MRI scanners.

What do I do to prepare for my scan?

Eat and drink normally and, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, please continue taking medications as normal. If you have any special needs (e.g. wheelchair access) please inform us when making the appointment.

What should I bring with me when I come for my appointment?

Your appointment confirmation; referral letter/form; Medical Insurance details if applicable. We accept all major debit/credit cards. If you have had any previous MRI scans, please bring your images for comparison.

How should I dress?

We will provide a gown/clothing for you to wear when you are scanned. If you prefer to wear your own, please ensure that you wear or bring clothing without any metal fasteners, zips or under-wiring as these cannot be worn in the scan room. The changing room can be locked for safe storage of your possessions.

What will happen during the scan?

You will be able to walk into the scanner. It has no tunnel or bore. You will be able to hear us and talk with us during your scan if necessary-and we will be able to see you at all times. Due to its open nature, you will even be able to watch TV or a DVD whilst having the scan. Depending on which part of you is being scanned, you may be asked to sit or stand, and assume different postures (for example bending forward.) The radiographer may place a receiver “coil” around the relevant area of your body. You will need to remain very still while the acquisition is done in order to prevent blurring of the images. You will hear some tapping from the scanner but in general it is much quieter than many other MRI scanners.

What will I feel?

You will not feel anything while having the scan. There is
no pain or unusual feeling of any type and you will experience
no after effects.

Will anything prevent me from having an MRI scan?

YES. There are some things that can prevent you from having an MRI scan. You will be asked to complete a safety questionnaire on arrival at the Centre which will cover the contra-indications-but if you are making an appointment and any of the factors below affect you, please discuss this with us in advance as it may save you a wasted trip.

Contra-indications can include:

  • Pacemaker
  • IUDs
  • Surgical clips
  • Pregnancy
  • Metal fragments in the body
  • Metal pins/plates/screws
  • Joint replacements
  • Metal objects in eyes
  • Cochlear implants
  • IVC filters
  • Metal heart valves
  • Penile implants

It is also important to tell us if you have any tattoos or piercings.

Can I bring someone with me?

Of course-we have a comfortable waiting area -but if you want them to stay in the scan room with you, they will also
need to fill out a safety questionnaire.

Please keep these items out of the scan room

Watches, jewellery, coins, keys, cigarette lighters, penknives, credit cards. Piercings, hairgrips, wigs, nicotine patches, and hearing aids must be removed.

How soon will the results be ready?

Your scan will be reported by a Consultant Radiologist. It will normally be available in a couple of days unless needed urgently. The images and report will be sent to your referring practitioner. If you have a follow up appointment, please make us aware of the details so we can ensure the report and images are available in time.