MRI Scans

Having an MRI scan

What is an MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) produces high resolution pictures of any part of the body in any direction. The scanner uses a high-strength magnet, radio waves and computers to generate images. MRI does not use X-rays so it can be used repeatedly. It is considered to be a very safe way of producing images that can diagnose medical conditions.

What to expect

The Radiographer will position you on a comfortable couch, which slides into the scanner. You will be asked to keep still while we scan you and produce your images. The scanner is very noisy when it is taking pictures so we will provide you with ear protection. Examples of the types of noises you may experience during your scan can be heard here.

We are able to play music during your scan so you may like to bring a CD with you to listen to. There are no after-effects from your scan so you can carry on with all your normal activities straight away.

If you have a Buscopan injection, an injection into the joint during your procedure or have taken medications which make you feel relaxed or drowsy it is advised you are accompanied by someone who can drive you home.

How long will it take?

This depends on which part of the body is being scanned. Most scans of one area are completed in 20-30 minutes. Occasionally an appointment time may be slightly delayed and we would appreciate your understanding if this happens to you.


Your referrer should receive your scan images and report within 5 working days. The referrer is the person who has sent you for your MRI (for example, your GP or Physiotherapist.) You should make an appointment with them to discuss the results. The radiographer will not be able to give you your results on the day of your scan.

Our open MRI scanner

A short video showing a radiographer helping a patient on to our high field open MRI scanner. This scanner was designed specifically for claustrophobic or larger patients.

New high definition MRI scanner

A short video showing the new high definition MRI scanner. This includes exciting enhanced patient comfort features.

Cheltenham MRI

Contact details

Cobalt Imaging Centre

Thirlestaine Road


GL53 7AS

Tel - 01242 535900 Fax - 01242 535919