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MRI Scanning

At Parkside Hospital we have 3 MRI scanners; a 1.5 tesla and a 3 tesla scanner, that provide a wide range scanning capability and a dedicated extremity 1.5 tesla scanner for specific musculoskeletal examinations. This allows us to offer rapid diagnosis with flexible timings. 

What is MRI?

MRI is a non-invasive diagnostic technique. It utilises a magnetic field and radio frequency waves to collect data of the body tissues in the area under examination.The data received is then reconstructed into a detailed image that is interpreted by a Consultant Radiologist. The loud knocking noises created during your scan is dependent on the type of sequence being performed, hence hearing protection is provided. It is necessary for you to keep very still during the scan as any movement will degrade image quality.

MRI Preparation and During Scan

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time, as you will be required to complete an MRI safety questionnaire. Due to the strong magnetic field, the radiographer will ascertain that you are completely safe before entering the scan room.

There is usually no preparation required for your MRI scan, however, you may be asked to change into a gown. You will be asked to remove certain items of jewellery and clothing and lockers are provided for your belongings.

In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to administer an injection of a contrast agent. This will be given through a small plastic tube into a vein in your arm or back of hand. This will only be offered if it is necessary to improve the appearance of certain body tissues on the acquired images.

The radiographer will be able to communicate with you during your scan through an intercom. You can listen to music, which will be offered to you or you may bring your own in the form of an iPod or CD.

Unfortunately, we are unable to scan people with pacemakers or implantable cardiac defibrillators, even if they are MRI compatible. Please discuss with your referring consultant.


For more information on your scan, see our selection of leaflets in the right hand column.

Opening Times

Monday to Friday - 8am to 8pm 

Saturday -  8am to 4pm

Same day appointments may be possible. However, specialised examinations may need to be performed at specific times during the week.

For further information please call 020 8971 8025.

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