Are there any risks when having an MRI?

As far as is known at present, an MRI is an extremely safe procedure. It does not involve the use of x-rays. You are placed in a very powerful magnetic field. If you have any small pieces of metal inside your body, you should inform the radiographer as in some cases you may not be able to have the examination.

If you have ever had metal fragments, in your eyes, you may need an x-ray before the MRI is done to prove that there are no fragments remaining. If you have a pacemaker, metal heart valves or a metallic clip in your brain, there is a risk that these may be affected during an MRI scan, and a different examination will need to be arranged instead.

For female patients, if you are or might be pregnant, you must make sure the doctor referring you or a member of staff in the radiology department knows as soon as possible. MRI scans are not advisable in early pregnancy unless there are special circumstances.

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