We look forward to welcoming you to 9 Harley Street for your imaging appointment . We hope the information below will help answer any questions you may have.
Before your scan it is important to remove any metal objects from your body, including:
- Watches and jewellery
- Body piercings, such as ear, nipple and nose rings
- Dentures (false teeth)
- Hearing aids
Any valuables can be stored in secure lockers.
It is highly essential that you inform us if you are pregnant.
Please come 5 minutes prior to your appointment to complete any necessary paperwork and registration forms.
On arrival, one of our Radiographers will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
Below you will find information on each individual scan and what to expect on the day:
Preparing for an X-ray
You can eat and drink as normal beforehand , however, you may need to stop taking certain medications and avoid eating and drinking for a few hours if you’re having an X-ray that uses a contrast agent, this will be explained to you prior by your referring Physician.
During the X-ray
You will be asked to lie on a table or stand against a flat surface. The Radiographer will operate the machine from behind a screen. The scan will last for a fraction of a second. While the X-ray is being taken, you’ll need to keep still so the image produced isn’t blurred. This will only take a few minutes.
Please note: during this scan a form of radiation is used.
What happens after an X-ray
You can return to your normal activities straight away and your results will be sent to your your referring clinician.
Preparing for an MRI
On the day of your MRI scan, you should be able to eat, drink and take any medication as usual, unless advised otherwise. You may be asked to fast if you are having an MRI scan of the Abdomen. It is important to let the department know if you have any surgical implants or devices prior to your appointment as not all are compatible/safe with the MRI scanner.
You will be asked to change and wear a hospital gown during the procedure. Some MRI scans involve having an injection of contrast dye. This makes certain tissues and blood vessels show up more clearly and in greater detail.
If you feel you may need a sedative prior to the scan to calm your nerves please visit your GP to discuss further, you will then need to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home afterwards, as you won’t be able to drive for 24 hours.
During the MRI
You’ll lie on a motorised bed that’s moved inside the scanner. You’ll enter the scanner either head first or feet first, depending on the part of your body being scanned.
The Radiographer operates the computer, so they’ll also be in a separate room to you. However, you’ll be able to talk to them, usually through an intercom, and they’ll be able to see you at all times on a television monitor. To avoid the images being blurred, it’s very important to keep the part of your body being scanned still throughout the whole of the scan until the Radiographer tells you to relax.
A single scan may take from a few seconds to three or four minutes. Depending on the size of the area being scanned and how many images are taken, the whole procedure will take 15 to 90 minutes.
Please note: Images are formed using strong magnetic fields and pulsed radio-frequency.
After the MRI
If you’ve had a sedative, a friend or relative will need to take you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours. It’s not safe to drive, operate heavy machinery or drink alcohol for 24 hours after having a sedative.
The Radiologist will send a report to the doctor who arranged the scan, who will discuss the results with you. It usually takes a day or two for the results of an MRI scan to come through, unless they’re needed urgently.
Preparing for an Dexa Scan
You do not need to do any special preparation prior to your DEXA scan and may continue to eat and drink as normal and take any prescribed medicine.
If you are at all concerned please contact the department before your scan appointment. On arrival, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire detailing your past medical history, height and weight. 25 Harley Street has a quiet waiting room with complimentary tea and coffee to make your short wait more pleasant.
During the Dexa Scan
The radiographer/technician will take you into the scanning room and will then check through your questionnaire with you. Please inform a member of staff if you think you could be pregnant. We will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. In the scanning room you will be asked to remove your outer clothes and jewellery and given a gown to wear.
You will need to lie on your back or side on the couch and will be asked to keep still for the duration of the scan. We may have to reposition you depending on the area we are looking at.
What happens after a Dexa Scan
Following the examination you will be supplied with a CD consisting of images from the scan. The images are processed and reviewed by a Consultant Rheumatologist and Osteoporosis specialist who will provide your referrer with a report (this usually takes 3 working days). You should then make a follow up appointment with your referrer to discuss these results.
Preparing for a CT scan
You should contact the hospital after receiving your appointment letter if you have any allergies or kidney problems, or if you’re taking medication for diabetes, because special arrangements may need to be made. For scans of the body you will always be asked to change into a gown. Before having the scan, you may be given a special dye called a contrast to help improve the quality of the images. This may be swallowed in the form of a drink, passed into your bottom (enema), or injected into a blood vessel.
For females only: If you are having a CT of the Abdomen you must be within 10 days of your last menstrual period.
During the CT
During the scan, you’ll usually lie on your back on a flat bed that passes into the CT scanner. The Radiographer will operate the scanner from the next room. While the scan is taking place, you’ll be able to hear and speak to them through an intercom.
While each scan is taken you’ll need to lie very still, this ensures that the scan images aren’t blurred. You may be asked to breathe in, breathe out, or hold your breath at certain points. The scan will usually take around 10-20 minutes.
Please note: during this scan a form of radiation is used.
After the CT
You shouldn’t experience any after effects from a CT scan and can usually go home soon afterwards.
If a contrast was used, you may be advised to wait in the hospital for up to an hour to make sure you don’t have a reaction to it. If you suspect an allergy following the scan please inform your GP. You will be given a copy of the images on CD before you leave the department. You can take these with you to your next consultation with the referring doctor. A report will be sent doctor who referred you for the scan, so they can discuss the results with you.
Preparing for an Ultrasound scan
Before having some types of ultrasound scan, you may be asked to follow certain instructions to help improve the quality of the images produced. For example, you may be advised to:
- drink water and not go to the toilet until after the scan – this may be needed before a scan of your unborn baby or your pelvic area
- avoid eating for several hours before the scan – this may be needed before a scan of your digestive system, including the liver and gallbladder
During the Ultrasound
Most ultrasound scans last between 15 and 45 minutes. A Radiologist presses a small, hand-held device (transducer), about the size of a bar of soap, against your skin over the area being examined, moving it as necessary to capture the image.
After the Ultrasound
In most cases, there are no after-effects and you can go home soon after the scan is finished. If a sedative wasn’t used, you can drive, eat, drink and return to your other normal activities straight away.
If you have any further questions, please do call us 0207 079 2102 and we will be happy to assist.