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MRI Scan

MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a type of scan used at The Shard to give an accurate image of the human body. Providing a detailed picture of the inside of the body, it can be used to diagnose different conditions and plan the best course of treatment for a patient

The scanning technique involves the patient lying down in a large tube as the scan takes place. Without the use of ionising radiation, MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radiofrequency waves and computers to produce very detailed cross-sectional images of a patient’s internal body structures.

How a MRI scan can help you

The Shard’s MRI scanning services can be used on many parts of the body, which helps consultants diagnose certain conditions. Body parts include:

  • Nerves
  • Muscles
  • Spinal cord
  • Intervertebral discs
  • Cartilage and ligaments
  • Organs, including the heart, bowel and brain

Including orthopaedic and neurological scans, our scanning services at The Shard cover all types of body scans. Many also don’t need specific preparation before the scan takes place.

Our consultant radiologists also perform a series of specialised examinations, such as for the heart and bowel, where specific preparation may need to be made. If this is necessary, you’ll be informed when booking your appointment.

Understanding a MRI scan

It usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes to complete the MRI scan. It’s important you stay still during the full examination.

Prior to entering the scan room, you’ll be asked to remove any metallic objects and, in most cases, change into a hospital gown.

The scanner can be very noisy when in action, so we will provide headphones or earplugs to reduce the noise.

Sometimes it’s necessary to inject a contrast agent (dye), which provides our experienced radiographers with a better image of specific vessels. We will fully explain this at your appointment and make sure you agree to the injection if you need one.

We’ll also provide you with a questionnaire to complete, which helps us understand your previous medical history and prevent any accidents or injuries. Your radiographer will discuss this with you.

Please note, certain health conditions means some patients are unable to have an MRI scan. This includes:

  • Women who are pregnant
  • Patients who have a pacemakers and certain heart valves. If this applies to you, please let us know your valve model
  • Patients who have aneurysm clips
  • Patients who have metal within the eye (an X-ray may be required if you’re not sure)

Why you should consider MRI services at The Shard

Advanced MRI technology – The Shard’s MRI scanning services are built with state-of-the-art technology to rapidly and effectively diagnose your condition. We can then know what treatment you should receive, if you need it.

Effective treatment for the right outcome – We strive to give all our patients same and next day MRI appointments. We can then focus on conducting a detailed scan quickly to give you peace of mind, or find the best treatment for you that should bring you the best outcome.

Top consultants and quality care – Our exceptional HPC-registered (Health & Care Professions Council) radiographers and consultants will carry out your MRI scan to give you your diagnosis quickly and decide whether or not you need treatment. The highly-skilled team will always ensure you receive the best quality care when using our MRI services.

To find out more about The Shard’s MRI scanning services, or if you’d like to book an appointment with us, email or call 020 7234 2773 to get in touch.



Our world-leading Orthopaedics Department provides diagnosis and treatment for many musculoskeletal and sports injury conditions. This ranges from the foot, knee and spine to the shoulder, hand and wrist.