MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

MRI is short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It uses a powerful magnet combined with radio waves to generate extremely detailed images of the inside of your body. MRI is painless and does not involve X-rays or any harmful radiation

Our team at the Mater Private Dublin are experts in obtaining and interpreting this advanced type of imaging. 

At the Mater Private, we provide a full range of MRI services including:  


Take a look at the short video below which outlines what to expect before, during and after your MRI scan.

  • What does the equipment look like?

    The MRI scanner is a large tube that is longer but not much larger that a different type of scanner called a CT scanner.  Both ends of the tube  are open. It is a very powerful magnet and is therefore in a special shielded room. Metal objects are generally not allowed in the room. You will lie down on a moveable table and the part of your body being scanned will enter the tube.

    What will I experience during and after the MRI?

    On arrival, you will be asked to complete a safety questionnaire. One of our MRI Radiographers will then check through your safety questionnaire with you and will explain the scan, answering any questions you may have.

    You will be asked to change into a gown and to remove any metal from your person, for example: jewellery, hair pins, eyeglasses, watches, wigs, dentures, hearing aid and underwire bras. An MRI specialist, the Radiographer, will take you into the scanning room, where you will lie on the scanner table.

    Devices that contain coils capable of sending and receiving radio waves may be placed around or adjacent to the area of the body being studied.  For example, for an MRI of the head, a device is positioned around the head to improve image quality.

    During the scan, the table you are lying on will slowly move through the scanner. The scanner itself can be quite loud as it works with the powerful magnets.  You will hear repetitive clicking, tapping and other loud noises. As a precaution, we will ask you to wear hearing protection and for some scans, you may be able to listen to the radio.

    In order to produce clear images, you may be asked to lie very still. The Radiographer operating the scanner can both see and hear you clearly throughout the scan and will speak to you through an intercom connected to headphones, which you will be given to wear. The procedure is painless. You don't feel the magnetic field or radio waves and there are no moving parts around you. Some patients do find it uncomfortable to remain still during the scan and may experience a sense of being closed-in (claustrophobia). If this is the case and you are prone to such events, you may want to ask your Physician about a prescription for a mild sedative, which could be taken prior to your MRI examination to help you relax.  Fewer than 1 in 20 patients require such medication.

    In some cases, a contrast dye called gadolinium may be injected through an intravenous line into a vein in your hand or arm. The dye is not always needed but can enhance the appearance of certain details. The contrast dye used during MRI scans is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than the dye used for CT scans.

    If you have not been sedated, no recovery period is required. You may resume your usual activities and normal diet immediately after the exam. On very rare occassions, patients experience hives, itchy eyes or other reactions to the contrast dye (if it was used). If you experience any symptoms of allergic reaction, please notify the Radiographer immediately and they will be able to provide immediate assistance.

    How long will I be in the Radiology Department?

    There are many types of MRI scans performed at the Mater Private Hospital in Dublin. Most scans last approximately half an hour but occassionaly some can last for up to one hour. Please give yourself plenty of time to reach your appointment on time.




  • At the Mater Private Hospital, we have a number of direct settlement agreements in place with the various insurance companies:

    • MRI is fully covered by Aviva, GLO, GMA and ESB (majority of plans covered)
    • VHI cover with consultant referral only

    Your level of cover will be discussed with you at the time of making your appointment.

    Our advisors will be happy to check the level of cover you have with your particular plan at the Mater Private Hospital.  Call our insurance line on 01 885 8177 or email

  • A Consultant Radiologist, a Doctor specifically trained to intepret radiology examinations, will analyse the images and send a report to your referring GP, who will then discuss them with you.

    All our Radiologists at the Mater Private Hospital are able to intepret MRI scans.  Some MRI examinations are more specialised than others and are only read by one of our radiologists with expertise in that particular area, for example, Breast MRI studies are intepreted by radiologists who specialise in reading breast imaing.

    On the day of your appointment, you will be given a disc containing the images taken during your scan. You will need to bring this disc with you to your follow-up appointment with your referring GP. The full report of your scan will be sent directly to your referring GP.