Soft tissue neck MRI scan | Medserena Open MRI

Medserena Soft Tissue Neck MRI Scan

MRI scan of the Neck Soft Tissue; non-invasive procedure to help diagnose medical conditions relating to the hard and soft palates, tongue and glands, price includes:

  • Open and Upright MRI scan
  • 60 minutes appointment
  • Radiologist findings report
  • Images on USB at the end of the scan
    and available to NHS trusts via IEP on request
  • Complimentary refreshments

Please wear metal free clothing and if possible, avoid wearing any jewellery. Alternatively, Medserena can provide you with a gown to change into for your scan. Scroll down for more Soft Tissue of the Neck MRI scan information.

Book a Soft Tissue Neck MRI referral now

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Little or no
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Watch TV while

Medical report included

About Soft Tissue Neck MRI Scans

The main purpose of the scan is to check for tumours (benign and malignant) that form in the soft palate (the back of the roof of the mouth) as well as the tongue and glands in the neck. The hard palate (the roof of the mouth that separates it from the sinuses) is also examined. Tumours in the hard palate are rare but not unheard of. This type of MRI scan can also be used to diagnose thyroid disease, an autoimmune condition where the thyroid gland malfunctions; abscesses, and the presence of foreign bodies (such as objects accidentally swallowed), as well as to measure response to cancer treatment.

A Medserena soft tissue MRI scan takes place with the patient seated comfortably and upright in an open scanner with a coil around the neck in a neutral position.

Pre and post administration of gadolinium contrast agents will be performed to give further information.

The open design of the scanner machine is reassuring for patients who suffer from fear of confined spaces (claustrophobia) associated with tunnel MRI scanners.

What conditions can a soft tissue neck MRI scan reveal?

  • Soft tissue tumours (sarcomas): These are rare, accounting for less than 1 per cent of all cancers. Around 3,300 people are diagnosed with them every year in the UK. Around 15 percent of all sarcomas are found in the head and neck in adults and make up 35 per cent of sarcomas in children. The main symptom is a painful lump that is getting bigger. They develop from connective tissues including muscles, tendons, cartilage, fat, nerves, and blood vessels.
  • Lipomas: The most common type of tumours in the neck area are called lipomas, which are harmless and painless, and don’t normally require surgery. These are benign fatty lumps that form in the neck and other areas of the body.
  • Thyroid diseases: MRI scans of the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped organ at the front of the bottom of the neck that produces the hormone thyroxine needed for a healthy metabolism, can reveal swelling caused by thyroiditis. This has several causes, including Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing it to swell and become inflamed. Viruses are among other causes of thyroiditis. As a result, the thyroid gland either produces too much or too little thyroxine, causing a range of symptoms.
  • Thyroid cancer: Thyroid cancer is rare but is visible on an MRI scan when it has spread to surrounding soft tissue.

Lymphadenopathy: This describes abnormal lymph nodes, either in size or number. It is often the result of benign infections, but sometimes it can be a result of something else going on in the body. It can be localised to the head and neck or be systemic (affecting the whole body). MRI can help assess the lymph nodes and guide further investigations.

Other benefits of a Medserena soft tissue neck MRI scan

Open MRI scanners are a stress-free alternative to using a conventional enclosed tunnel MRI scanner, providing comfort and reassurance for people who suffer from anxiety or claustrophobia. Sitting upright is more comfortable for patients and the open front means patients can speak to a friend or relative or watch television throughout as distraction.

Open MRI scans can also accommodate larger/ heavier patients who might have difficulty fitting comfortably into a conventional tunnel scanner, as they can take weights of up to 35 stone (226kg). However, suitability will depend on the patient’s build and the area of anatomy that needs to be scanned.

To book a Medserena soft tissue neck MRI scan direct in London or Manchester, go to


The Upright MRI is truly open. There are no tunnels, no narrow tubes. The system is particularly quiet, the examination is comfortable and does not trigger feelings of being in a confined space. This means that the Upright MRI is particularly tolerated by patients who suffer from “claustrophobia”.

Because the system offers you an unrestricted view, you can watch TV or see DVD movies on a large screen during the scan. Wearing headphones – as with other MRI systems – is usually not necessary.

According to the current state of knowledge, there is no danger to the patient’s health as magnetic resonance imaging only uses magnetic fields and radio waves.

Metallic foreign bodies within the patient, such as fixed dental prosthesis, artificial joints or metal plates after treatment for a fracture do not usually pose any danger. However, it is important to clarify that the implants you use are MRI-compatible before the examination.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) utilises a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to form images of your body. It is non-invasive, painless and does not use any ionising radiation.

Our truly open MRI can scan you in different positions. Through the utilisation of a specially designed MRI system we can offer weight-bearing scans – sitting or standing. The design of the system allows the patient to be positioned in different postures (e.g. flexion or extension) so that the patient may be examined in the position where they experience pain. The reason to do this is that some pathologies are underestimated or even not seen in a conventional supine MRI scan. The technique has value in many applications: e.g. spine, knees, hips, ankles. This has been proven in scientific studies and documented in peer reviewed publications.

In addition, it offers the possibility of performing an MRI scan on patients who could not otherwise tolerate the examination. This may include the claustrophobic patient, who benefits from the truly open nature of the equipment, and the severely kyphotic patient or emphysema sufferer who simply cannot lie down. It can also facilitate scanning of large patients who struggle to fit conventional ‘bore’ MRI scanners.

Of course, we have a comfortable waiting area but if you want them to stay in the scan room with you, they will also need to fill out a safety questionnaire. There is enough space for a companion. The person can even hold your hand and communicate with you during the examination. This is particularly beneficial when examining teenager.

This depends above all on which part of the body needs to be examined. In the Upright MRI, special examinations can be carried out in various body positions. The entire scan generally takes between 30 and 45 minutes. However, since you have the opportunity to watch TV or DVD, this time will go by much quicker.

Eat and drink normally and, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, please continue taking medications as normal. If you have any special needs (e.g. wheelchair access) please inform us when making the appointment.

Your appointment confirmation; referral letter/form; Medical Insurance details if applicable. We accept all major debit/credit cards.

We will provide a gown/clothing for you to wear when you are scanned. If you prefer to wear your own, please ensure that you wear or bring clothing without any metal fasteners, zips or under-wiring as these cannot be worn in the scan room. The changing room can be locked for safe storage of your possessions.

You will be able to walk into the scanner. It has no tunnel or bore. You will be able to hear us and talk with us during your scan if necessary-and we will be able to see you at all times. Due to its open nature, you will even be able to watch TV or a DVD whilst having the scan. Depending on which part of you is being scanned, you may be asked to sit or stand, and assume different postures (for example bending forward.) The radiographer may place a receiver “coil” around the relevant area of your body. You will need to remain very still while the acquisition is done in order to prevent blurring of the images. You will hear some tapping from the scanner but in general it is much quieter than many other MRI scanners.

You will not feel anything while having the scan. There is no pain or unusual feeling of any type and you will experience no after effects.

YES. There are some things that can prevent you from having an MRI scan. You will be asked to complete a safety questionnaire on arrival at the Centre which will cover the contra-indications-but if you are making an appointment and any of the factors below affect you, please discuss this with us in advance as it may save you a wasted trip.

Contra-indications can include:

  • Pacemaker
  • IUDs
  • Surgical clips
  • Pregnancy
  • Metal fragments in the body
  • Metal pins/plates/screws
  • Joint replacements
  • Metal objects in eyes
  • Cochlear implants
  • IVC filters
  • Metal heart valves
  • Penile implants

It is also important to tell us if you have any tattoos or piercings.

Watches, jewellery, coins, keys, cigarette lighters, penknives, credit cards. piercings, hairgrips, wigs, nicotine patches, and hearing aids must be removed.

Your scan will be reported by a Consultant Radiologist. It will normally be available in a couple of days unless needed urgently. The images and report will be sent to your referring practitioner. If you have a follow up appointment, please make us aware of the details so we can ensure the report and images are available in time.