Breast Implants MRI scan | Medserena Open MRI

Medserena Breast implants MRI scan

MRI scan of prosthetic breast implants; non-invasive procedure to help diagnose leaking or ruptured breast implants, price includes:

  • Open and Upright MRI scan
  • 50 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 Breast Implant MRI scan information.

Many Scans Available within 48 hours

Superior healthcare service with every Private MRI scan

Calm, dignified

Little or no
waiting time

Private, spacious


Watch TV while


About Breast implants MRI scans

Breast implant operations are now commonly performed in the UK both post-breast cancer as part of reconstruction treatment and for cosmetic reasons. NHS Digital says 20,665 breast implant operations were performed in the NHS and private sector according to national registry data between 2016 and 2018. In 2018, breast augmentation surgery was the most popular type of cosmetic surgery performed on women in the UK, with 6,800 procedures carried out.

There are two types of breast implants – those made of silicone gel which are the most commonly used implant in the UK as they feel more natural than those filled with saline (salt water). Both have recognised complications which are visible using MRI scanning. One survey by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Guardian newspaper reported that 1,200 serious incidents linked to breast implants were reported in the UK between 2015 and 2018 based on Yellow Card reports to the drug and devices safety watchdog the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Medserena’s breast implants MRI scan can help determine whether an implant is leaking or has ruptured and show other complications which can cause abnormalities in shape. MRI imaging is considered the most accurate gold standard type of imaging for these types of investigations.

The scan is carried out in an upright open scanner, so the patient is seated and comfortable throughout. They are then scanned upright and tilted backwards. This may be a less intimidating experience than lying in a tunnel MRI scanner for people who suffer from anxiety and claustrophobia from being in a confined space.

What problems can a breast MRI scan detect?

There are several complications with breast implants, these include:

  • Capsular contracture: In around 10 per cent of breast implant patients the scar that forms around an implant will contract, thickening and tightening the capsule, leading to breast tenderness and hardness and an abnormal appearance. It can change the shape and feel of the breast. Up to 30 per cent of women who have this complication will have another operation within 10 years, and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) say capsular contracture is the most common reason for this.
  • Failure of implants: The average breast implant lasts around 10 years, after which it will need removal /replacement. Over time silicone gel can leak leading to breast pain and lumpiness and further surgery may be needed. Rupture can happen due to aging of the implant, trauma from accidents and damage from surgical instruments sustained during insertion of the implant.
  • Breast sagging(ptosis): Sometimes the weight of an implant can over time cause the breast tissue to sag.
  • Implant movement: Sometimes implants can slip out of place and move to the bottom of the breast or rotate, changing the appearance of the breast.
  • Deflation: Saline implants are more likely to rupture and leak over time leading to deflation.

Other benefits of a Medserena open 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.


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.