Open MRI Scan


Open MRI Scan

Vista Health can offer patients an Open MRI scan which is an alternative to the conventional MRI and provides optimal image quality.

There are two types of Open MRI available through Vista Health: A scanner with three sides completely open allowing more space around the body; and Upright (or standing) MRI scanners that allow you to sit or stand between two large magnetised plates and you are able to look out.

All Open MRI scanners are available to patients that may have anxiety issues or are claustrophobic, bariatric or have restricted mobility, and for younger children.


You can also refer yourself, so no need for a GP referral to book a scan. 
Self-referral is available at all 32 locations across the UK




From Only £500

Based on how quickly you would like your scan, and the location.



Locations UK Wide

Open MRI scans are available in London, Croydon, Birmingham and Leeds.



Same Day Appointments

You can have quick access with same day appointments.

What is an Open MRI scan?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging which is a way of taking pictures inside the body without using x-rays.

It is suitable for every part of your body, including bones, soft tissues and the brain, and is one of the most advanced imaging techniques used to date. MRI uses a very strong magnetic field which allows doctors to see inside your body in a way previously only possible through surgery.

Usually MRI scans require patients to lie down in a tube that is enclosed at one end. In some instances, however, it is best to perform the scan using an open MRI scanner. In London, Croydon, Birmingham and Leeds, we have equipment that doesn't fully encase the body.  This is especially useful for patients that may be claustrophobic or for those unable to lie flat for a prolonged period, as it helps put them at ease for the scan.

Advantages of an Open MRI over the conventional 'tunnel' MRI:

  • Superior imaging in that it is able to detect issues that are only visible when the patient is in a weight bearing situation, or in their position of pain.
  • Patients can be imaged in a lying down, standing or in a sitting position.
  • Perfect for patients that may suffer Claustrophobia, or anxiety.
  • Patients who are larger or have restricted mobility or that are unable to lie down.
  • Some patients need to be observed during the scan for whatever reason.
  • Children of any age.

Prices fom £500

Services using open MRI scans may cost a little more than the conventional 'tunnel' scanners. But hear at Vista Health such services still remain affordable for patients who suffer from claustrophobia or those unable to lie flat for extended periods or not able to fit comfortably in a traditional MRI scanner.

The diagnosis is always included in the price and your report will be completed by a specialist consultant radiologist, and returned to your referrer or GP within 2 working days from your scan time.

Your price will always be clearly explained before you book.   At Vista Health, we make it our mission to guide you through every stage of your MRI journey.

Open MRI prices from *


Croydon (Completely Open unit)
London (Upright MRI)
Birmingham / Leeds (Upright MRI)

* Please call us / enquire for pricing for additional body parts.

Vista Health clinic locations

Convenient locations in London and across the UK

Vista Health is a leading UK healthcare specialist provider specialising in diagnostic services for the private healthcare market. Helping clinicians and patients to start the health journey sooner.

Across the UK

Why would you need an MRI scan?

Throughout your referral process our dedicated team will determine whether an MRI scan is the right course of action for you. If you suffer with any of the following an MRI may be the best way to diagnose an illness and ensure you receive the best possible care going forward. 



Do you suffer from headaches, dizziness, strange sensations or paralysis? If you do then please speak to our expert team as an MRI scan may find the cause.


An MRI scan would help find possible causes of sciatica, back pain, injury, scoliosis, or paralysis.  Call or contact us via the form below to get advice.


Issues with your prostate, fibroids, ovarian disease, arthritis, bursitis, groin issues, gynae problems and unidentified hip pain can be diagnosed with MRI.


Abdominal pain can involve the liver, kidney and pancreatic pathologies. Our expert team at Vista Health are on hand to help you at every step of the way.

Private MRI Scan FAQs

How does the MRI scanner work?

An MRI scanner is a large, hollow cylinder open at both ends. A strong magnetic field and radio waves are used to create images of organs and other structures inside you. A ‘receiving device’ like an aerial, may be placed behind or around the part of the body being examined. This detects the tiny radio signals emitted from the body during the scan.

How long does a scan take?

The time taken for the scan will vary depending on what is being scanned but on average can take 20 to 40 minutes.

Is the scan noisy?

The MRI scanner will make loud and unusual noises whilst taking your pictures. Earphones and/or earplugs will be given, and music may be available.

I have a medical implant. Can I still have an MRI scan?

Yes, but please let us know beforehand. The MRI scanner uses a powerful magnet so people with certain types of medical implants or devices may not be able to be scanned. Please remove all metal from your body including loose change from your pockets.

What happens if I need to stop my scan?

You will be given a call bell whilst having your scan. Should you need to stop simply squeeze this and a member of staff will be straight in.

Is it comfortable?

We will use pads, cushions and supports to help make you more comfortable for the scan. It is important to be as comfortable as possible from the beginning to help you keep still throughout.

Can I speak to a member of staff during my scan?

Yes, there is an intercom in the scanner so you will be able to talk to the MRI operator between scans.

What happens after the MRI scan?

Your Results:

Please contact your referrer for your results and further information. Results usually take a few days to be processed but our staff will advise you on the day as to how long you will need to wait.

After your scan:

There are no after effects from the scan. You can return to your normal activities as soon as the scan is over.

The images from the scan are studied by a Consultant who will prepare a written report to send to your referrer.​​​​​​

If anything needs urgent attention, you will be contacted immediately. We are always keen to hear feedback and have patient feedback forms available.

If you have any further questions please speak to a member of staff who will be happy to help.

You will receive a disc with the images of your MRI scan (unless your scan was performed on a mobile unit and the images will be posted to the patient by recorded delivery). Your referrer will also receive a copy of the report and images of the scan.

Throughout the process our highly trained staff are on hand to answer any of your concerns or queries, so if you have a question at any point, just ask and they will be more than happy to help.

When will I receive my results?

You will receive a disc with the images of your MRI scan on the day (unless your scan was performed on a mobile unit and the images will be posted to you by recorded delivery). Your referrer will also receive a copy of the report and images of the scan within two working days.

When should an MRI not be done?

Due to the powerful magnetic field of an MRI scan, certain individuals cannot be scanned. A patient must not have an MRI scan if they have:

  • A cardiac (heart) pacemaker
  • Clips in the head from brain operations, ie aneurysm clips
  • A cochlear (ear) implant
  • A metallic foreign body in the patient’s eye
  • A programmable shunt for hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain)
  • Or are pregnant.

Interested in an MRI?

Please contact us via the form below, or alternatively call us and speak directly to one of our experienced staff.  We are here to help.

Remember that you can refer yourself and do not need a GP referral.




Contact details

Tel: 0333 200 2064
Fax: 0333 200 2065

For directions to our Vista Health locations, please visit the locations page.


Patient care address

Vista Health
Patient Referral Centre
Sandbrook House
Sandbrook Park
OL11 1RY


Appointment bookings

Tel: 0333 200 2064
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday, Sunday: 8am to 1pm



Vista Health are proud to be working with

Partners - In Health
Partners - Aviva
Partners - Axa
Partners - Bupa
Partners - Cigna
Partners - Healix
Partners - Health Partners
Partners - Simplyhealth
Partners - Vitality