How the mri procedure is performed

How to prepare for the MRI


  • The patient should neither drink nor eat anything 4 hours before the procedure
  • Patients who take medicines on a permanent basis should take them on the day of the scan at the usual time and diabetics should be mindful of their insulin intake.
  • Patients referred for an MRI of the head are asked to avoid using too much make-up.
  • Persons with metallic or electronic foreign bodies, including implants, pacemakers, hip replacements or neurostimulators are obliged to notify staff at the reception desk.
  • For examinations requiring the administration of a contrast medium, the patient is asked to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluids within 12 hours on the day preceding the scan.
  • No metal objects, especially mobile phones, credit cards, watches or other electronic devices may be taken into the room with the MRI machine. The strong magnetic field may cause these objects to be damaged, cause damage to the MRI scanner, or even cause injury to the person being examined.


  • An ID document with a photo
  • The original referral letter completed legibly by the physician with his signature and stamp
  • Medical documentation including the results of investigations performed to date, CDs, photos, and hospital discharge summaries
  • Blood creatinine level, which is necessary for scans requiring a contrast medium as it shows the function of the kidneys - for which a referral should be issued by the attending physician


  • An MRI for children requires special preparation before the scan, monitoring during the examination and continued aftercare. The nature of such tests requires them to be undertaken in specialist centres equipped with appropriate scanners, technical conditions and skilled staff.
  • Due to the fact that few children are able to remain still for 30 minutes, the majority of the procedures performed on children require the assistance of an anaesthetist, whose role is to put the child to sleep, making it possible to perform the scan without the need for repetition.
  • For up to two hours after the procedure, the child is monitored by the staff until his or her complete recovery from anaesthesia.
  • Please contact reception on 32 701 24 00 to find the nearest laboratory suitable for MRI examinations for children.

Description of the procedure


  • Please come 15 minutes before the scheduled scan to fill in a medical questionnaire on chronic diseases, allergies, medicines and possible contraindications for the MRI scan.
  • For some MRI scans it is necessary to administer a contrast medium – in the majority of cases intravenously, but on rare occasions orally - so as to obtain a clear image of the scanned area. Immediately before the scan, the nurse will insert an IV cannula in the case of intravenous administration. The contrast media used are very safe, rarely causing allergic reactions. If the contrast medium is to be administered by mouth, the patient should arrive at least one hour before the arranged time and bring 1.5 litres of still mineral water. The technician or nurse will prepare a solution of the contrast medium, which should be drunk slowly in small sips.


  • The laboratory staff will take the patient to a special room and ask the patient to lie down on a comfortable table which will be slid into the MRI scanner.
  • The healthcare staff are obliged to leave the CT scanner room, as the computer which processes the information is located in a separate room from the one in which the technician operates the scanner and monitors the examination.
  • The procedure is painless - the patients may sometimes experience an unpleasant feeling related to the administration of the contrast medium; however, this is not a rule. The patient is monitored by the technician, doctor and nurse, and instructions are given by microphone.
  • The majority of the MRI procedures last from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the scanned area and the number of obtained images, although sometimes the procedure may take 60 minutes or longer. It is of vital importance that the patient remain still during the procedure.


  • After the procedure with the contrast medium, the patient is asked, for his safety, to remain in the laboratory for several minutes. If there are no unwanted reactions, the patient may leave the facility.
  • For the next two days the patient is asked to drink two litres of fluids per day, as drinking plenty of fluids will facilitate the elimination of the contrast medium from the body.

Getting the results

The patient will receive information concerning the examination results at the reception desk. The results will be interpreted and analysed by our specialists. The results may be collected in person or by a third party upon signature of a special authorization form. The results contain a report as well as a CD with the relevant images and the report.