Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical diagnostic technique that creates images of the body using a magnetic field and radio waves. It does not use X-rays.

A versatile, powerful and sensitive tool, MRI can generate thin-section images of any part of the body from any angle in a relatively short period.

MRI is a completely non-invasive procedure, and there are no known side effects. The procedure is painless and can take 30 to 45 minutes.


As the strong magnetic field in MRI will pull on any ferromagnetic metal object implanted in the body, it is important that all metallic items including magnetic strips (those in bank or credit cards) be removed before entering the scanning room. The presence of metal will also degrade the MRI image and therefore has to be removed in order to optimise your examination.

  • In most cases, surgical staples, plates, pins and screws pose no risk during MRI if they have been in place for more than four to six weeks.
  • If there is doubt, an x-ray may be required to verify the presence of any metal in your body or head.
  • You are discouraged to apply make-up or sprays on your body or hair as these may contain metallic dust and affect the images.
  • You will be asked to fill in a pre-examination questionnaire to ensure that no significant medical history is forgotten and the staff is fully aware of any metal that may be in your body
  • Unless a contrast injection is required, you may eat normally and go about your daily routine. Continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor unless otherwise directed
  • If you are claustrophobic, sedation may be required. Please highlight this when making an appointment for further instructions to be given.
  • Fill in the questionnaire on your medical history.
  • Remove items like your wallet, watch, keys and magnetic strip cards (those in ATM, credit cards). Lockers will be provided.
  • Change to a gown to prevent metallic objects from being attracted by the powerful magnet.
  • You will be positioned on a padded table and slowly moved into an open magnet that surrounds the body with a magnetic field.
  • Once you are comfortably positioned, it is important that you remain relaxed and completely still during the scan. Movement will result in unclear images.
  • There will be faint knocking, intermittent humming and thumping sounds. These represent changes in the magnetic field. Earplugs will be provided.
  • Breathe normally, as there is nothing about the procedure to make you uncomfortable or painful. You may notice a warm feeling in the area under examination; this is normal but if it bothers you, please let us know.
  • In some cases, the doctor may order an image enhancement agent. This is a fluid injected into a vein probably in your arm. If this is required, it does not mean that your condition is more serious. So do not be concerned.
  • You will have to voice contact with the radiographer at all times and you can be seen clearly from the control room.
Benefits and Risks


  • Images of the soft-tissue structures of the body such as the heart, lungs, liver and other organs are clearer and more detailed than with other imaging methods.
  • MRI can help physicians evaluate the function as well as the structure of many organs.
  • The detail makes MRI an invaluable tool in early diagnosis and evaluation of tumours.
  • MRI contrast material is less likely to produce an allergic reaction than the iodine-based materials used for conventional x-rays and CT scanning.
  • MRI enables the detection of abnormalities that might be obscured by bone with other imaging methods.
  • MRI provides a fast, non-invasive alternative to x-ray angiography for diagnosing problems of the heart and cardiovascular system.
  • Exposure to radiation is avoided.


  • An undetected metal implant may be affected by the strong magnetic field.
  • MRI is generally avoided in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Doctors usually use other methods of imaging, such as ultrasound, on pregnant women unless there is a strong medical reason to use MRI.

Prepare yourself for a medical examination by downloading this questionnaire.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI) is available at:

Radiology Department,
Gleneagles Hospital

6A Napier Road, Singapore 258500
(65) 6470 5730
Fax: (65) 6470 5749

Radiologic Clinic,
Novena Medical Center

10 Sinaran Drive #08-02/03/04
Novena Medical Center
Singapore 307506
(65) 6397 6686
Fax: (65) 6397 6696

Radiology Department,
Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

38 Irrawady Road, Level 2,
Singapore 329563
(65) 6933 1188
Fax: (65) 6933 0526

Radiologic Clinic,
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre

3 Mount Elizabeth #01-01/02
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
Singapore 228510
(65) 6731 2727
Fax: (65) 6235 5279

Radiologic Clinic,
Breast Imaging Centre

290 Orchard Road
#07-04/05/06 Paragon
Singapore 238859
(65) 6732 1166
Fax: (65) 6732 5933

Radiology Department,
Parkway East Hospital

321 Joo Chiat Place Singapore 427990
(65) 6340 8714
Fax: (65) 6340 8670

Radiologic Clinic,
Mt Elizabeth Novena Hospital

38 Irrawaddy Road #01-03/04 & 01-13
Mt Elizabeth Novena Hospital
Singapore 329563
(65) 6388 4333
Fax: (65) 6252 3353

Radiologic Clinic,

6A Napier Road #02-25/26
Gleneagles Hospital
Singapore 258500
(65) 6476 1151
Fax: (65) 6471 1151


Visit this FAQs page for more information.



For any enquiries, feel free to contact us.

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