If you are interested in learning about MRI body scans and the MRI scanner, and the uses of MRI body scans, you will find the information on this page helpful.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a a method of examining body organs through the use of magnetic fields rather than X rays, and using a computer to construct a series of body scans. An MRI scan is particularly useful for producing pictures of the brain (brain MRI) and spine, as well as the soft tissues of joints and the interior structure of bones.
During MRI scans you lie still and are moved in and out of a narrow tube as the MRI scanner creates images of your body. If you're claustrophobic, being confined within an MRI scanner for up to an hour can be difficult. The latest facilities now use an "open" MRI scanner to avoid this problem. MRI scans do not rely on possibly harmful radiation such as X Rays, and CT scans. There are no known risks for an MRI scan, other than for people who may have metal objects in their bodies.
Sometimes sedatives are given to help the patient relax during MRI scans. If a sedative is used, the patient will be unable to drive home following the MRI scan and should have a friend or family member with him or her. MRI scans usually take between 1 and 2 hours to carry out.
MRI scanners can be used to accurately detect and locate tumours and to determine if a tumour has spread. MRI scans are often used to examine:
- Nervous system (e.g., brain MRI, spinal cord, nerves)
- Chest (e.g., heart, cardiac MRI, lungs, major blood vessels)
- Spinal column
- Abdomen (e.g., liver, kidneys, spleen)
- Joints (e.g., shoulders, hips, knees)
- Pelvis (e.g., reproductive organs)
To locate providers of private MRI scans in the UK go to Where can I go for an MRI scan?
For indicative costs of private MRI body scans, view the MRI scan prices list.