The health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff remains a top priority at Mater Private Network. With this in mind, we have revised our policy for visitors to the hospital, in line with the latest COVID-19 guidelines.

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MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Contact Us

Mater Private Network, Eccles Street,
Dublin 7, D07 WKW8
1800 69 16 16 Outside ROI +353 (0)51 595 109 radiology@materprivate.ie

Please note that a referral letter is required before an appointment can be confirmed.

Mater Private Network, Citygate,
Mahon, Cork, T12 K199
021 601 3256 corkradiology@materprivate.ie

Please note that a referral letter is required before an appointment can be confirmed.

Newenham House, Northern Cross, Malahide Rd,
Dublin 17, D17 AY61
1800 69 16 16 Outside ROI +353 (0)51 595 109 radiology@materprivate.ie

Please note that a referral letter is required before an appointment can be confirmed.

Cherrywood Business Park, Building 11,
Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin, D18 DH50
1800 69 16 16 Outside ROI +353 (0)51 595 109 radiology@materprivate.ie

Please note that a referral letter is required before an appointment can be confirmed.

Useful Information

About MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

MRI is an imaging technique which uses a strong magnetic field to produce high-quality images of the body. MRI does not use x-rays or ionising radiation.  

MRI scans are painless and last approximately 30 minutes. You are constantly monitored by staff during the scan.

What you should know

At the time of making your appointment, you will be asked a series of questions to determine if it is safe for you to have an MRI scan. The following considerations require review by the MRI clinical specialist radiographer prior to scheduling your appointment:

  • You have a cardiac pacemaker or other cardiac device
  • You are or might be pregnant
  • You are breastfeeding
  • You have an artificial heart valve
  • You have had surgery to stop a bleed
  • You have any metallic implants
  • You have had an injury to your eyes at any time involving metal or metal fragments
  • You have an eye or ear implant
  • You suffer from diabetes
  • You have allergies to MRI contrast dye/gadolinium

If you have severe claustrophobia, you may find it difficult to have an MRI scan. You may take a mild sedative 30 minutes prior to the scan to relieve anxiety. You must bring this medication with you (you can obtain a prescription from your referring doctor or GP).

In our Day Hospitals, we have an open-ended and wider MRI machine that can help if you suffer of claustrophobia.

Some MRI scans require you to fast prior to your appointment. You will be advised of this at the time of making your appointment.

MRI cardiac perfusion scans require specific preparation. 

  • You will be asked to lie on the scanning table where you will be made as comfortable as possible.
  • There is an intercom which allows communication between you and the team during the scan
  • For some MRI scans you may listen to music during the scan.  
  • To begin the scan, the table will slide into the scanner.  During the scan it is important that you remain perfectly still.
  • During the scan, you will hear lots of noise including banging sounds.  This will stop and start throughout the duration of the scan.
  • Depending on the area we are scanning, we may need to give you an injection of contrast dye into a vein in your arm.  This injection allows a clearer image to be produced in certain instances.

There are no precautions to follow after your scan. You can eat and drink normally, drive and can return to work immediately after your appointment if necessary.

Your scan will be reported by a consultant radiologist. The results will be sent directly to your referring doctor.

MRI does not use x-rays or ionising radiation but uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves. These may interact with metal in your body and certain medical implants may either not be suitable for scanning or require special supervision.

To ensure that it is safe for you to have an MRI scan, it is important that you inform us when making your appointment if you have any of the following:

  • You have a cardiac pacemaker or other cardiac device
  • You are or might be pregnant
  • You are breastfeeding
  • You have an artificial heart valve
  • You have had surgery to stop a bleed
  • You have any metallic implants
  • You have had an injury to your eyes at any time involving metal or metal fragments
  • You have an eye or ear implant
  • You suffer from diabetes
  • You have allergies to MRI contrast dye/gadolinium

MRI patient information leaflets

  Contrast Agents PDF | 144KB   MRI Cardiac Perfusion Scan PDF | 158KB   MRI Dynamic Pelvis PDF | 130KB

Frequently asked questions

Scan time varies depending on which are of the body / how many body parts we are scanning.

Generally, scan times range from 15 minutes up to one hour; the radiographer will let you know on the day how long the scan will take.

Yes. MRI scans are incredibly motion-sensitive. Each set of images or “sequence” takes approximately two to three  minutes. Any movement during that time will affect image quality.

Movement can also mean we have to repeat images so this can increase the overall duration of the scan. 

Yes. Certain items of clothing, particularly those with metal zips or wires can not be worn during the scan. The radiographer will advise you on the day what clothing needs to be removed.

Yes. MRI scanners are incredibly noisy when we are obtaining the images. This is totally normal. You will be provided with headphones or earplugs to distract from the sound and to protect your hearing while you are in the scanner.

Where possible we will provide you with the option to listen to the radio during the scan. Certain MRI scans may require you to follow breathing instructions for the duration of the scans so it may not be possible in these cases.

You will be provided with a “call bell” or “buzzer” for the duration of the scan which you can use to let the radiographer know that you need their attention or that you want to stop the scan.

Patients have the option of taking a mild sedative prior to the scan. A prescription for this must be obtained from your own GP and the medication brought with you on the day. The medication should be taken at least half an hour prior to your scan time.

We are unable to provide patients with medication on the day.

We DO NOT offer intravenous sedation. 

We have two wide bore scanner in our Day Hospitals in Cherrywood and Northern Cross. Please check with the scheduling team when booking the scan regarding availability and if your insurance provider offers the same level of cover as in Eccles Street.

Certain MRI scans will require an injection of a contrast dye as part of the scan. The radiographer will discuss this with you on the day.

If this is possible, we will give you this option on the day.

However, certain scans, particularly when we are scanning areas above the waist, require you to be positioned head first due to the equipment needed.

No. The radiographer is responsible for carrying out the scan. The scans are then reported on by one of our consultant radiologists.

Yes. You can send an email requesting your images to xraycdrequests@materprivate.ie

You should provide your name, date of birth, hospital number (if known) and the date and type of scan.

If you are seeing a consultant in the Mater Private you DO NOT need a copy of your images as they are immediately available for them to view on our hospital's PACS (picture archiving communications system).