MRI scan

I've contacted someone about a possible MRI scan only to be told they won't do it on someone with a pacemaker. So what is the point of my model of pacemaker being 'MRI friendly' 🤦‍♀️😳

I will try to contact other places. Does anyone have any experience of this? 


Find another "someone" !

by IAN MC - 2022-08-30 07:56:09

Hello DJ .  Like you, I am in the UK and I've had 3 MRI  scans in the last 18 months so it IS possible. You may need to contact all the decision-makers :-

-  The surgeon who wants the scan

-  Your cardiologist who has to arrange for one of his PM technicians to be  present  during the procedure

- the consultant radiologist who will be doing the scan ( or one of his radiographers ). I think you will find that some radiologists are very happy to do MRI scans on PM patients...others less so.

- it's possible that your GP could initiate  the whole thing so if he/she is on your side so much the better !

With the long delays in the NHS at the moment I am increasingly using E-mails as my preferred method of contacting specialists. ( Shhhh ...keep that to yourself ! )

I never said it is easy, but it IS possible. It may be a case  of identifying the KEY decision-maker.

Best of luck



by Marybird - 2022-08-30 08:31:54

My daughter, who's had a pacemaker since 2012, has had numerous MRIs, even one cardiac MRI a number of years ago. She's always had to wait for the place to get a Medtronic pacemaker tech to be there to adjust her pacemaker settings before and after the MRI, but it was only a few days delay at most. 


MRI scan

by Diamond Jules - 2022-08-30 08:41:37

Thank you Ian and Marybird. Good advice regards getting the right people. At the moment it's no referral, just me wanting to check my heart arteries health. This looks like the best test/check there is, although I was asking regarding the upright version. I may just end up with a CT scan once I've researched the radiation risks more 🥴


by Julros - 2022-08-30 11:26:02

Yes, I had this experience at the beginning of the year. I tried to schedule an MRI at 2 different independent providers, but they referred me to the local hospital. I later found out it is because they have a no-compete contract with the hospital, who routinely overcharges. They took two weeks to fax a form to the cardiologist to get the info needed, and then another 4 weeks to get scheduled. 


by AgentX86 - 2022-08-30 14:45:23

Independent imaging companies won't deal with pacemakers is because they have no facilities to handle them. It's a relatively simple task to safe a pacemaker but you need the equipment and knowledge (and certifications) to do it. They don't have the resources to do it. If they had all of these resources sitting around waiting to be used, they'd cost more than the hospital.

I think pacemaker techs need a cardiologist on site, as well. My last interrogation was rescheduled because the EP had an emergency at the hospital. This would obviously ruin the business plan.

Diamond is in the UK so there is a whole different set of hoops for this that we, on the left side of the pond wouldn't understand.


Mri in uk

by atiras - 2022-08-30 17:37:04

In the UK here. I was at GWH a couple of years ago having a CT scan and got into conversation with one of the senior techs. Mentioned that I'd be unlikely to ever have an mri because of my pm and he said: 'we do them on pm patients on a regular basis. We'd do more if the surgeons put in mri safe leads as well as devices. It's a palaver because we have to get all the right people in the room at the same time and we only have one scanning suite that's got all the right facilities so it can take a while to get everything in place.'

I guess that because leads are not replaced often, those who have had a pm for some years would be sol compared to those who got theirs more recently. Although mine went in in 2018 and didn't have a mri safe lead. 


by LondonAndy - 2022-09-04 07:26:14

I have had a similar experience to those other UK people mention here. Even when living in London I was refused a scan at the Royal London, and ended up at Barts (St Bartholomew's) where they are a heart centre, have 8 MRI machines and didn't blink an eye at doing these.

You need a Pacemaker technician to put the device into some sort of safe mode first, and then reset it back to normal after the scan. I asked him if any patient had ever had any problem from an MRI scan and he said "no".

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