The MRI Scanner at Barnsley Hospital operates 7 days a week from 8:00am until 8:00pm

The MRI Scanner is used to undertake a wide range of diagnostic procedures for all types of patients, however,  you will not be able to have a MRI scan if you have any of the following:

  • Cardiac Pacemaker.
  • Cochlear implant.
  • Retained metal fragments in the eye

You may not be able to have an MRI if you have the following:

  • Metal aneurysm clip in the brain.
  • Programmable hydrocephalus shunt.
  • Valvular breast port.
  • Some other types of biomedical implants.
  • If you are pregnant.

If patients know that they suffer from claustrophobia, it may be helpful to talk directly to a Radiographer before the scan, when the patient receives their appointment.  Patients should contact the department on 01226 434340.

Preparation for the scan – Prior to a small number of MRI scans patients will have to starve, however, for the majority there is no special preparation.

We do ask that patients leave valuable items at home and remove all jewellery, other than their wedding ring, as most modern jewellery has magnetic properties and patients will be asked to remove these on arrival.

Several trans-dermal medication patches contain metal ions and these need to be removed prior to MRI Scan.  Please contact the department for details of the types of patches that will need to be removed.

After booking in at the main Medical Imaging Reception, patients will be asked to sit in a sub-wait area where they will be greeted by a member of the MRI team at their appointment time.

Patients will be asked to fill in a safety questionnaire and may have to change into an examination gown.

Any objects that cannot be taken into the examination room will have to be removed (jewellery, money, credit cards, mobile phones, hearing aids).  We provide lockers for the patient’s valuables and the key to the locker can remain in the examination room.

During the scan – The Radiographer and/or Assistant will explain what is going to happen and in what position we need the patient.  Patients will lie on a special table which moves the body part we are scanning into the center of the magnet.  A piece of equipment may be placed around the part of your body being scanned.  Patients will have the chance to ask any questions.

Patients will hear loud noises from the scanner which is quite normal.  Depending on the area being scanned patients may be given the option of listening to music during the scan.  The Radiographers will make the patient as comfortable as possible as it is essential that the patient lies still for the duration of their scan.

For some scans it may be necessary for patients to have an injection of a fluid called “contrast media” or a muscle relaxant called Buscopan.  If this is required a full explanation will be given to the patient at the time and the injection will be made into a vein in the patient’s arm.

If patients have received an injection they will be asked to remain in the department for 30 minutes after the injection to ensure that they have no side effects from the contrast.

On average scans will last between 20 and 50 minutes.

Are there any risks to having a MRI Scan? – There are potential risks associated with implanted biomedical devices which is why it is necessary to complete the safety screening questionnaire prior to the MRI Scan.  The patient’s scan may be deferred if we are unsure as to the compatibility of an implant.  There is also a small risk that the patient may be allergic to the contrast media, any previous reactions should be mentioned to the Radiographer prior to the patient’s scan.

Can someone stay during the scan – Not usually, however, for children and people who are very anxious this may be possible providing that it is safe for the companion to enter the scan room.

When will the results be available? – The Radiographer will not be able to give the patient their results. The scan will be studied by a Consultant Radiologist who will send the results to the doctor that referred the patient.  This normally takes between 7 and 10 days.