Who will I see?
The clinic has a team of people who will help you through your procedure. A radiographer, a radiologist and receptionist who will be pleased to ask answer any questions you may have.
Will I need an injection?
Occasionally we may need to give you and injection, this is called contrast. The contrast enables us to see certain areas in more detail. This will normally be administered into a vein in the arm by the radiographer and more pictures will be taken after the injection. We will always discuss this with you first and there are not usually any side effects from this. There will be an additional charge for this.
Will I need to undress?
If you have any metal on your clothing i.e. zips or metal buttons (including bra hooks) you will need to remove them, if needed we have clinic gowns for your convenience and a changing area.
What about jewellery?
Generally gold wedding bands are ok to go into the scanner, however all other jewellery including piercings must be removed, you may like to leave them safely at home, but we do have lockers for your personal belongings.
How long will the scan take?
The duration of the scan depends on which areas of the body are being scanned, for a single area, e.g. lower spine, the time is typically 15 to 20 minutes, but for multi-area and contrast scanning it will be longer, the radiographer will be able to advise you of the time you will be in the scanner.
Can I eat and drink?
Yes, you can eat and drink normally both prior to and after the scan unless you have been informed otherwise. There are some scan types which require an empty stomach, if you are having one of these procedures you will be advised prior to the day of your appointment. If you are a diabetic it may be worth bringing a light snack as you may have to wait for your results over your normal meal period and we have no cafeteria facilities.
Can I bring a friend or relative with me?
Yes, you can bring a friend or relative with you, although we would request that this is limited to one friend or relative per patient due to limited space in our waiting area. They will not normally be able to accompany you into the scanner for safety reasons, unless there are special circumstances and then they must also complete a safety questionnaire. Children will not be allowed in the scanner with you so you will need to make arrangements for them before you arrive for the scan, it is worth noting we have no facilities for children on site.
I am claustrophobic and not sure if I will be able to go into the scanner…
Both of the MRI scanners at Heath Lodge Clinic are ‘OPEN’ scanners, which mean they have more room for patients than the older more traditional scanners; we have scanned many claustrophobic patients who have been happy with the experience, (please refer to the patient testimonials elsewhere on this site.)
If you are at all worried we can let you speak with our Radiologist who will explain the procedure and make some suggestions to make your visit more comfortable. You may want to ask your physician for a prescription for a mild sedative prior to the scheduled examination.
When will I get my results?
You will take a CD containing your pictures away with you and a written report will be sent to your referring clinician within 4-5 working days. You will need to make an appointment with your clinician to discuss your results.
Is the scan painful or uncomfortable?
We will do our best to ensure your comfort during the scan, however as you will be lying flat, some people will experience discomfort due to this position. You will feel no pain as a direct result of the scan. You will know when images are being recorded because you will hear load tapping or thumping sounds when the coils that generate the radiofrequency pulses are activated.
It is important that you remain perfectly still while the images are being recorded, which is typically only a few seconds to a few minutes at a time. For some types of exams, you may be asked to hold your breath. You will be able to relax between imaging sequences, but will be asked to maintain your position as much as possible.
The radiographer will not be in the room during the scan, but will speak to you throughout the procedure. You will be given a buzzer to hold which, should you feel uncomfortable at any time, you can press and the radiographer will stop the scan and come into the scan room to assist.
I have private medical insurance, what do I need to do?
You will need to contact your insurance company directly for an authorisation number.