Patient Information

At Northern MRI we want to ensure a pleasant patient experience, making sure you understand every step of the process and have complete peace of mind.

MRI Scans Explained

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, better known as MRI, is a powerful diagnostic tool that uses a strong magnetic field to produce high-resolution images of the body, in multiple directions. Used for over 30 years, it is known to be the safest method of scanning with no known side-effects.

Capable of identifying issues relating to muscles, nerves, ligamnents and other soft tissue structures, MRI is now the investigation of choice in many medical specialities including neurological, musculoskeletal and oncological conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

MRI has been used for many years, with no known side effects. All patients will complete an MRI safety questionnaire and most can be scanned safely, however you should contact Northern MRI if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following;

  • You have a cardiac pacemaker, or have had any type of heart surgery
  • You have a cochlear implant, neurostimulator, or programmable hydrocephalus shunt or you have had any surgery to your head/ eyes/ ears or spine
  • You have had an injury to your eyes involving metal
  • You are, or may be pregnant

When booking an appointment you will be asked about MRI safety / payment or insurance options and given and appointment to suit your needs.

For most MRI scans, no special preparation will be required. For some pelvic or abdominal scans we may give you special instructions about eating and drinking.

To make your preparation as simple as possible you could;

  1. You should arrive at least ten minutes before your appointment time, wearing clothes without metal zips and buttons and leave any valuable possessions at home.
  2. You should contact us if you have any special requirements; if you have mobility issues or use a wheelchair, you have sensory impairment (eyes/ ears), are claustrophobic, or diabetic.
  • The radiographer undertaking your procedure will undertake your safety questionnaire and may ask you to change into suitable clothing for the scan.
  • The radiographer will make you comfortable on the table, before positioning you, with the body part being scanned in the middle of the scanner
  • You will be given earphones during the scan to listen to music of your choice, as the scanner is very noisy.
  • The radiographer will speak with you at numerous times throughout the procedure and you will have an emergency call bell should you need their attention.
  • Each individual scan can take several minutes and it is important patients lie as still as possible throughout. Entire scans usually take between 15 and 20 minutes, but can take up to an hour for longer studies.
  • Contrast Medium – Occasionally, patients may need to receive an injection of a dye (or contrast medium) to increase the amount of information we receive from scans. You may be told about this injection when booking, or sometimes it is necessary to bring patients back for a second scan with contrast medium after their initial report has been issued.
  • You can eat and drink normally, and will be able to drive home.
  • Your scan will be reported by a sub-specialised consultant radiologist within 24-48 hours.
  • Your report and images will be sent to your referring clinician/healthcare professional by email and post.
  • If a follow up appointment is not already arranged, you will need to contact your clinician/healthcare professional to get your results.

Do you have any questions?

At Northern MRI we have a professional team ready to help you with any questions you may have. Any queries can be addressed by :

Telephone: 028 90 66 0050

Email :

Ultrasound scans available

A Simple Tool our expert radiologists use to recognise and treat various conditions

Used for many years, ultrasound scans have no known side-effects. By simply using a small hand held sensor, our consultant radiologist can generate images using high frequency sound waves. Placed over the skin, the probe produces excellent images of the superficial structures of the body.

At Northern MRI, ultra sound is primarily used to identify musculoskeletal injuries in joints. Injuries to the ankle, knee, hip or shoulder can be treated with steroid injections.