The MRI centre, VISTA diagnostics

I work closely with the MRI centre at Vista Diagnostics.

MRI scanning in Ashtead, Surrey
This organisation offers very reasonable scanning services because they have scanner in use for very long hours 7 days a week. They are recognised by all major health insurers but have the advantage that for self payers they are considerably cheaper than most scanning units.
What is MRI?
MRI is a form of diagnostic imaging which does not use ionising radiation and is therefore completely safe and painless. It utilises a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer for analysis.
How does it work in simple terms?
Your body is full of hydrogen atoms. In every hydrogen atom there are protons; positively charged particles. When the magnet is switched on every proton aligns itself in the long axis of the magnetic field. Then a changing magnetic field is applied using a radio frequency causing the protons to align to a different axis. When the radio wave is switched off the protons realign to their previous long axis, emitting a radio frequency as they give up energy. The signal is received by a coil and this information is sent to a computer.

The computer converts the information in to images which are made up of 'slices in pictures' of the area under examination. The images can also be stacked to produce a 3 dimensional image.
How do I know if I should have an MRI?
Usually a consultant refers you for an MRI. He makes this decision based on your symptoms and the signs he finds when he examines you.

If you have health insurance and want to use it you will need to have seen a consultant first. However it is possible to be referred directly by your GP, Private Physiotherapist or Osteopath if you do not have health insurance or do not want to claim on it. In the NHS you need also to be referred by a consultant.
Where can I find an MRI centre?
There are several nearby. There is one at Ashtead Hospital and another at Waterloo station. Different charges apply depending on the unit. At Waterloo the Vista Diagnostic Centre is open 7 days a week for long hours which helps to keep the cost of any individual scan down.
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Sessions can be booked by telephoning the practice on

01372 275823

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