What Is An MRI?

An MRI (or Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a safe, accurate and non-invasive way of diagnosing medical issues. It works by spinning generating a strong magnetic field which can be used in conjunction with radio waves to create a 2D or a 3D image of your body. Unlike other diagnostic imaging methods, an MRI scan involves no exposure to radiation.

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Canary Wharf

0207 132 1440

Mon – Fri: 9am to 5pm

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01689 490 111

Mon – Fri: 9am to 5pm

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Where Can An MRI Scan?

MRI scanners are very good at visualising bones, soft tissue and even nerves so they can be used to diagnose a massive range of medical problems. This ability to scan lots of different matter safely, also means the MRI scan can be used on any part of the body, literally from your head to your toes. Whether you require a head scan, you have a back problem or one of your limbs is causing pain, an MRI scan can find the cause.

What can An MRI Scan Diagnose?

With the ability to scan an entire body, MRI Scanners can diagnose a huge list of ailments. For example:

  • Aneurysms
  • Trauma
  • Disc Herniations
  • Fractures
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancers
  • Arthritis
  • Tumours
  • Muscle Tears
  • Cartlidge Problems
  • Inflammation and many more

What Will Happen During My Scan?

When you arrive at one of our clinics for your appointment, our radiographer will go through a few questions with you to ensure you are suitable for an MRI scan. They will also ensure your clothing is free of any loose metal objects to ensure the process is as safe as possible. Once this is completed and you have given the relevant permissions (including for a contrast dye to be used if necessary – your radiographer will talk you through this before going any further) you will be directed to a bed that will pass through the scanner.

During the scan you may hear some strange noises from our MRI Scanner, this is totally normal. You will also be able to talk to your radiographer throughout the entire process to ensure you have complete peace of mind. Some people can become distressed during the MRI as it can be quite claustrophobic, but our clinicians will be on hand at all times to ensure you are ok. We’re here to make the process as stress-free as possible for you.

What Happens After My MRI Scan?

After your MRI scan, your images will be assessed by our expert radiographers and a copy of your report will be sent to your doctor or GP. Our results are incredibly fast, so you can get results on the same day as your scan, one of the key benefits of choosing Lyca Health for your MRI. This ensures that any medical problems found on the MRI can be treated quickly and efficiently and that you get the best care possible going forward. MRIs are entirely safe so you can get back to your normal day-to-day activities immediately after the scan.

Private MRI scan without referral

Are you looking for a private MRI scan without a referral? LycaHealth can help. We are now accepting self-referrals from new and existing patients, enabling you to access exceptional healthcare when you need it most. Head over to our self-referral page to book your MRI scan today.

An MRI scan cost varies depending on different factors. If you are self-pay patient, MRIs start from £300 (Orpington Clinic only) depending on how many body parts are required, or whether contrast involved.

LycaHealth is accredited by ALL major insurance companies. If you have health insurance you can call your insurance company, let them know which clinician has referred you and the type of MRI they have requested. Your insurance company will then generate an authorisation code.

If you would like a quote for a private MRI scan in London, please send your referral form to us for a quote with no obligations to book.

For more information please call our team on 0207 132 1440, or email


An MRI scan can take anywhere from 15-90 minutes. Timings will alter depending on the size and location of the area scanned and information required. Your radiographer will tell you how long you should expect your scan to last at the beginning of the procedure.

An MRI scan works using a magnetic field which pulls the protons in the body’s cells into alignment. The MRI sends out short bursts of radio waves which disrupt the protons. The MRI sensors then detect the energy released as the protons realign to the magnetic field.

During an MRI scan you will be required to lie on a flat bed which is then moved into the scanner, either head or feet first. Patients are able to communicate with the radiographer via intercom during the procedure. During the scan you’ll be required to stay very still. A friend or relative may accompany you if you feel nervous about the procedure.

An MRI scan is painless and safe; extensive research shows that magnetic fields or radio waves do not pose any risk. Some people with implants will be unable to have the procedure. For example, those with pacemakers and, usually, pregnant women.

Having an MRI scan is painless. If you suffer with claustrophobia there is the option to have a sedative. Young children and babies are often given a general anaesthetic to ensure that they stay still during the MRI scan.

Before an MRI scan you must tell your healthcare provider about any conditions that could prevent you from having the scan. For example, if you have a pacemaker or are pregnant. There will be different criteria in terms of what you can eat or drink prior to the scan depending on the specific nature of your procedure. Before the MRI scan you must remove any metal objects, including jewellery, dentures and hearing aids.

A 3T MRI scanner has a more powerful magnetic field strength. A 3T scanner, because of its increased signal strength, will provide clearer, more detailed images in a shorter time. It is especially useful for revealing minute detail.

Not being able to have an MRI scan is usually due to some kind of metal object present in the body. Those with pacemakers, metal plates, cochlear implants, artificial joints, dental bridges and surgical staples, amongst other things, will have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. MRI scans are not usually recommended for pregnant women. You should also inform your health provider if you have any tattoos as these can also contain traces of metal.

At LycaHealth we aim to provide your MRI scan results within 2 working days. We can provide you with a disc to take with you or email the results (via secure link) to your referring clinician. Whatever suits you best

The procedure of the MRI scan is safe. However, the strength of the magnet can cause metal objects to move with force. The examination area, therefore, will be free of loose objects that could cause harm.For your safety, you must remove all metallic belongings prior to the procedure. For some examinations, a contrast dye is injected to enhance images. For this particular procedure, if you have a history of kidney issues, this must be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to treatment.

The difference between CT and MRI scans is that a CT scan uses X-ray technology which exposes the patient to small amounts of radiation. An MRI scan uses a magnetic field instead. Differences between abnormal and normal tissue are often clearer with an MRI scan image. An MRI scan can take longer than a CT scan.

We are fully accredited


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