About an hour before your MRI scan, we’ll give you about 1.5 litres of oral contrast solution to drink, which is a mild laxative. We’ll ask you to drink this steadily over a period of 45-50 minutes. This will fill and highlight your small intestine so that your Consultant can see it better.
Your Radiographer will place a cannula into your arm through which they’ll inject another contrast dye called Gadolinium and an injection of Buscopan during the scan. This dye improves the quality of the images of your body tissue and the Buscopan will help prevent an involuntary bowel movement during your scan. You may notice that your vision becomes blurry because of the Buscopan; this is only temporary.
During the scan, you’ll be lying on your front inside the scanner, going in feet first. You must lie as still as possible so that we can get the best possible images.
We’ll make sure that the area that’s being scanned is positioned correctly and that you’re comfortable. You’ll have a call bell 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.
Your Radiographer will give you instructions on how to breathe during your scan. This might include holding your breath for between 15-20 seconds.
The actual scan will take between 30-45 minutes.
You can make contact and speak to your own GP regarding concerns if you are claustrophobic. They may be able to prescribe a mild sedative for your MRI scans.