Private MRI Scan


Our consultant radiologists use some of the most technologically advanced MRI scanners to provide accurate examinations of the inside of your body.

Enquiries & Appointments

London Bridge Hospital _Sept 23_060.jpg

What is an MRI scan?

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a type of imaging scan that uses strong magnet-ic fields and radio waves to produce high-quality images of the inside of the body. An MRI scanner looks like a large tube that you lie inside. The machine makes a knocking noise when it’s scanning and you may feel vibrations under your body.

An MRI can be used to scan different parts of your body, including your head, hips, and breast area. An MRI scan does not use ionising radiation, and helps to identify any differences between healthy and unhealthy body tissue.

MRI scans take between 15 and 90 minutes dependent on the area(s) of the body being scanned. An MRI scan is painless, and you’ll be able to listen to music during the scan, however you will need to remain as still as possible. On the day our team members in our imaging departments will talk you through your scan and be able to answer any questions you may have.


What is an MRI scan used to diagnose?

An MRI scan is a non-invasive technique that produces highly detailed images of organs, muscles and the musculoskeletal system. These qualities make MRI the most frequently used scan for testing and diagnosing brain and spinal cord injuries.

For patients with cardiovascular problems, MRI is especially helpful for investigating the heart and blood vessels. This includes assessing:

  • Any blockage or inflammation in the blood vessels
  • Changes to the heart’s wall
  • Damage caused by heart attack or heart disease
  • Structural problems in the aorta
  • The heart’s chambers including size and function

MRI scans are also a primary diagnostic choice for assessing orthopaedic injuries, as MRI offers advanced investigation of ligament, cartilage, joint, muscle and bone damage. 

MRI can also work well with mammography to detect breast issues including breast cancer.

Having an MRI scan at HCA UK

It is unlikely you will have to do anything in advance to prepare for your MRI scan. However any special preparation will be explained to you at the time of booking your appointment. We also advise leaving any metal or jewellery at home as you will need to remove this prior to your MRI scan. All personal belongings are stored in a locker whilst the scan is in progress.

When arriving at an HCA UK location for your MRI scan, you will firstly check in at reception. You’ll likely have to fill out a MRI safety questionnaire form and sign consent that you are happy for the MRI scan to take place.
The MRI scanner is operated by one of our specialist radiographers. You’ll firstly be asked to lie flat on the bed which is then moved into the MRI scanner. You may lie head or feet first, dependent on what part of your body is being scanned.

You’ll likely be given earplugs and/or headphones to wear. This is because the machinery within the scanner can make loud tapping noises during the scan.

Whilst you’re being scanned you’ll be able to talk to the radiographer via an in-built intercom system. The radiographer will be in a different room, taking the necessary scans of your body via computer.

Most MRI scans last between 15-90 minutes on average. The time length of your scan will be dependent on the complexity of your injury, the size of the area being scanned and how many images need to be taken. Before your scan begins your radiographer will advise you on how long it may take.
After your scan has finished, your radiographer will check that you are feeling okay and ask you to change back to you own clothes, they will advise when your results will become available and once you are ready you are ok to leave.

If your results are being reviewed on the same day as your scan, your HCA UK consultant will see you again to discuss your MRI scan results which would have already been reviewed by your consultant and radiologist. They may arrange a further appointment for you if it’s decided you require further testing or treatment.

Please inform any HCA UK healthcare provider if you are feeling unwell following your MRI scan. If all is okay, you will be able to go home as normal following your scan and the review of your results.

How long do private MRI scan results take? 

On some occasions you may receive the results of your MRI scan on the same day. Normally, your HCA UK consultant or radiologist will report your results back to you within 48 hours of your scan.

How much does a private MRI scan cost?

The cost of MRI scans varies according to the type of MRI scanner, and what part of the body or health concern is being investigated.

To find out more about our MRI costs, please call 020 3993 3351.

Self-referral private MRI scans in London and Manchester

Before we can confirm your MRI scan, we firstly require a referral letter from your GP. 

If you prefer, you can instead book an appointment with an HCA UK consultant who can refer you directly for your MRI scan with us, often on the same day as your initial appointment.

Knee brace with MRI 1364380706.jpg

Our MRI teams

Our consultants use some of the most technologically advanced MRI scanners available, with highly precise, rapid scanning capabilities for the most accurate results.

An MRI is undertaken in our imaging departments, where a team of radiographers will take you through the scanning process step by step.

London Bridge Hospital _Sept 23_081.jpg

Scanning technology at HCA UK

Across the HCA UK network in London, Birmingham and Manchester we offer private diagnostic MRI scans for a wide range of service lines to help diagnose and manage different health conditions. 

HCA UK are committed to ensuring they continually invest in the latest technology to support advancements in diagnosing conditions sooner. Throughout the HCA UK network we currently have the latest in both 1.5T and 3T MRI machines.

Our MRI Scan locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Portland Hospital

The Portland Hospital

205-209 Great Portland Street W1W 5AH London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
Private Care at Guy's

Private Care at Guy's

London Bridge Hospital Private Care at Guy's SE1 9RT London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.