MRI Scanner

MRI Scanner:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging produces high quality pictures of anatomical structures of any part of the body, in any plane. The scanner uses a powerful magnet, radio waves and computers to create the images. Magnetic Resonance Imaging is not an invasive procedure and does not use x-rays during the scan, meaning it can be used repeatedly.

MRI is considered a very safe imaging technique.

About the scanner:

Weston’s state of the art Siemens Avanto Fit Upgrade 1.5 Tesla MRI scanner was upgraded in December 2018. It is housed in an environmentally friendly building, with cedar clad walls and a ‘living’ Sedum roof.

The scanner is operated by MRI trained Radiographers to ensure we achieve the best possible imaging for you.

Your scan will be reported by a Consultant Radiologist, a doctor specialised in interpreting x-rays and scan images, and your scan will be carried out by the radiographers under their direction.

What should I expect?

The Radiographer will have a discussion with you before the scan to explain the procedure and to check your safety questionnaire with you. If you have any questions or concerns, the radiographer should be able to answer them and put you at ease.

For claustrophobic patients, most examinations are performed feet first, excluding head and neck examinations. The Radiographer will position you on a comfortable couch, which slides into the scanner. Positioning aids may be used to make you comfortable and help you to keep still for the duration of your scan.

The Avanto scanner produces loud buzzing and rattling noises whilst scanning, so ear plugs and ear protection will be provided to you. To enhance your experience, we are able to play music during your scan, so you may wish to bring a CD with you.

The area you are having scanned depends how long the examination will take. However, most scans are completed in 20-30 minutes. Although we try to keep to the given appointment time, extra imaging and emergency requests can cause delays. If we recognise there may be delays, we will inform you.

Is it safe?

There is no potentially harmful radiation used for your MRI scan; it is considered a very safe imaging technique. However, because the scanner uses a powerful magnet it is important we are aware of certain surgical procedures.

If you have a pacemaker, arterial clips in the head, a cochlear implant or any metal fragments in your eyes you may not be able to be scanned at Weston General Hospital. If you believe you have any of these, please contact us before your appointment.

Joint replacements, dental implants and gold or silver rings are perfectly safe.


Because of the strong magnetic field, some people may not be suitable for MRI scanning.

If you have any of the following, or if you have any doubts about your suitability for MRI, please speak to a member of staff before your scan:

  • Cardiac Pacemaker
  • Cardiac Defibrillator
  • Artificial Heart Valve
  • Aneurysm Clips
  • Gastric Bands
  • Any type of stent
  • Metal fragments in the eye
  • Any surgery within 8 weeks of your appointment
  • Any surgery involving implants to the head or body
  • Any concerns about claustrophobia


If you believe you have any of the above, please contact our appointments team prior to your appointment on: 01934 636363 (ext. 3347).