KIMS Hospital is one of only a handful of private hospitals in the UK that offer MRI scans to patients with pacemakers and cardiac devices such as implantable defibrillators.
Pacemakers have components that are sensitive to magnetic fields, and exposure to an MRI scan can interfere with the proper functioning of the pacemaker. As a result, patients typically have to explore less suitable types of scan or undergo invasive procedures such as biopsies.
Many modern pacemakers are now MRI-compatible and patients with such devices can safely undergo an MRI scan at KIMS Hospital under specific conditions and with careful monitoring. Our imaging team work in collaboration with device manufacturers to ensure that pacemakers are safely reprogrammed before performing an MRI, and that patients are carefully monitored during the scan.
3 Tesla (3T) MRI Scan
What makes our service unique is that we perform a 3T MRI scan for patients with a pacemaker.
Prices & payment
The above are guide prices only.
Is a pacemaker MRI scan safe?
Yes. MRI scans are a safe and painless procedure. They do not expose the body to radiation and there is no risk posed by the use of magnetic fields or radio waves. This makes MRI scans one of the safest diagnostic imaging tools currently available.
However, it is not always possible for people who have certain types of implanted medical devices to have an MRI scan.
Our specialist team will check the compatibility of your device on two separate occasions, once at time of booking, and then again on the day of your scan.
If there are any doubts about the safety of performing the scan, we will not proceed.
How do I know if my pacemaker or device is compatible for an MRI scan?
When booking your appointment, please provide our imaging department with details about your pacemaker/defibrillator including the manufacturer and model of the device and leads.
We will also ask for details of where you had your last pacemaker check up performed.
Details of these will be on your pacemaker card, or you can obtain the information from your usual pacemaker clinic or cardiologist.
Please note that this information must be provided before we can confirm the booking.
Will I need a referral for a private MRI?
You will need to have been referred for an MRI by a qualified healthcare professional, such as your GP, a Consultant, an Osteopath or a Physiotherapist. If you think you need an MRI but don’t have a referral yet, our team are happy to assist you by offering you an appointment with a Private GP or Physical Therapist, who will be able to determine whether you need a scan and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
What happens at my MRI scan appointment?
A cardiac physiologist will perform a pacemaker check-up and provided they are happy with the results they will attach special MRI safe ECG tabs to your chest. Your pacemaker will also be put into MRI safe mode for the duration of the scan.
Once in the room, you will be asked to lie on the MRI table. MRI safe ECG leads will be attached to the ECG tabs and an MRI safe pulsometer attached to your finger. These are attached to monitoring equipment so that you can be monitored continually throughout your MRI scan.
The MRI makes a loud knocking sound which changes throughout the scan. This is all normal. You will be given headphones and / or earplugs to help reduce the noise and you will be given instructions throughout the scan.
After your scan the cardiac physiologist will perform another pacemaker check-up and put it back into normal mode. You will be free to go home or to another appointment. You will be able to eat, drink & drive as normal.
How long does an MRI scan with a pacemaker take?
On the day of the scan we ask you to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment to have your device checked and reprogrammed to make it safe to enter the scanner. This is similar to a normal pacemaker check.
You will be advised how long the scan will take by the radiographer on the day as it is dependent on the scan that you are having. Be rest assured that you will be carefully monitored throughout, with our expert team present.
When will I get my results?
The majority of scan reports will be available within two working days of your appointment.
Your report will be sent to your referring medical professional such as your Consultant, GP or Physiotherapist who will be able to give you the results of your scan. Please arrange a follow-up appointment with them.
What is the cost of an MRI scan if I have a pacemaker?
A pacemaker MRI scan starts from £880.
What is the difference between a 3T MRI Scanner and a 1.5 Tesla scanner?
A 3T MRI scanners have twice the magnetic strength than a 1.5 Tesla scanners. This means that the 3T MRI machine provides more signal and therefore achieving a higher resolution and image quality, being more sensitive to tiny lesions.
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- Appointment enquiry
Our team are on hand to help answer any queries you might have about coming to KIMS Hospital or Sevenoaks Medical Centre. You can use the form below and one of our team will be in touch. Alternatively to speak to a member of our friendly team, please call 01622 237 500 between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday.
If you would like to book an appointment, you can use the form below and one of our team will be in touch.
Alternatively to speak to a member of our friendly team, please call 01622 237 500 between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday.
Please be aware, if you are requesting a diagnostic scan such as an MRI, or CT, you must have a referral from a relevant clinician or Allied Health professional such as a physiotherapist.