What is an MRI scan?

MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a type of diagnostic imaging which uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of your body. MRI is widely used for scans because the images are so detailed and it’s highly accurate in picking up conditions. Even small changes to an injury or disease can sometimes be detected.

We understand that having an MRI scan may be daunting, so our experienced Radiographers use a modern, wide, scanner which is more comfortable, spacious and less noisy to ensure that you have a positive experience.

How much does a private MRI scan cost?

We offer the following guide prices:

  • MRI scan – one body part: from £490
  • MRI scan – two body parts: from £710
  • MRI scan – three body parts: from £855
  • MRI scan – four or more body parts: from £980

If you have any questions about the cost of an MRI scan, please get in touch with our Private Patient team using our online quotation form or by calling 01580 363158.

0% finance available on selected diagnostic tests*

Take advantage of 0% finance on payment plans through our trusted partner, Chrysalis, and spread the cost of your treatment. Fit your repayments into your monthly budget rather than having to find the full cost at the time of your treatment.

*0% is only available on selected diagnostic tests only between £350-£999. Please check with our self-pay team on 01580 362 820 before applying. Full terms and conditions apply. Credit subject to acceptance.

I have a question about having a private MRI scan

Why would I have a private MRI scan?

An MRI can be used to examine parts of the body including:

  • Bones and joints
  • Brain and spinal cord
  • Internal organs
  • Blood vessels

The results of an MRI scan help your Consultant or GP diagnose conditions and plan treatments.

There might be a waiting list for an MRI, so booking a private scan can ensure a speedier diagnosis.

What happens during an MRI scan?

On arrival

At your appointment, you’ll meet a Radiographer - an expert in MRI scanning. Your Radiographer will be with you through the whole process, from explaining the scan and answering your questions beforehand, to performing the scan itself.

Our scans range from 15 minutes for the quickest scan to over an hour for the longest. How long it takes is dependent on the scan that you need and which parts of your body need scanning.        

The MRI scan process

During the scan, you’ll be lying on the table inside the scanner. You must lie as still as possible so that we can get the best possible images.

The area of your body to be scanned needs to be in the centre of the scanner, so you may enter it head or feet first, and parts of your body may remain outside the scanner. You’ll be given a buzzer to hold which you can press anytime to stop the scan, for example, if you feel uncomfortable or claustrophobic. We’ll also give you headphones to wear for the duration of your scan; this is so you can hear the Radiographer when they talk to you and so that you can listen to music if you’d like to.

Please contact us on the number on your appointment letter if you think claustrophobia may be a problem for you. There may be other options available, depending on the type of scan and area of the body to be scanned.

What should I expect after an MRI scan?

Once your scan is done, you’ll be able to leave and carry out your normal activities. A Radiologist will examine the images and the results will be sent to your referring clinician.

How should I prepare for my MRI scan?

Before your scan you can usually eat and drink as normal and take any prescribed medication as usual. However, our team will advise you of any particular instructions that you’ll need to follow.

Please remove all jewellery prior to your arrival, including all piercings. When you arrive in the department, you'll be asked to change into a hospital gown prior to your scan, for safety reasons. If you’re wearing an underwired bra, we’ll ask you to remove it.

Should I expect any pain or reaction from an MRI scan?

You won’t feel any pain during the scan, but some patients feel uncomfortable having to lie still for a long time. You’ll hear quite loud mechanical sounds from the MRI scanner, but we’ll give you headphones or earplugs to wear.

Your Radiographer can always see and hear you during your scan and will be able to talk to you throughout the scan, using an intercom.

For some MRI scans, an injection of special dye may be needed to ensure we get the clearest scan. This depends on the area being scanned and what we need to see. A small percentage of people may have a minor reaction to this injection. If you have any concerns about this, please contact us on the number on your appointment letter.

Contact us about a private MRI scan

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.