Date issued: December 2019
For review December 2021
Ref: B-312/CH/Imaging/MRI scans in NF2 patients with hearing implants v3
Please also see the separate leaflet ‘Information for Patients, MRI Scan’.
This leaflet contains specific information related to your hearing implant.
Why do I need the scan?
As part of the process for monitoring NF2, it is important that we scan your head at least once every year and your spine at least every three years.
How does MRI affect my hearing implant?
MRI uses very powerful magnetic fields to take very detailed pictures of your head and spine. This means that we normally ask people to remove any loose metal objects (such as jewellery, belts etc.) before entering the scan room. It also means that we check what implants people have inside them.
We have been advised that you have a Cochlear Implant (CI) or an Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI) inside you. In other words, you have a magnet just under the skin in your head. This magnet will be attracted to the magnet inside the MRI scanner.
Why can’t you just remove the magnet?
We prefer not to remove the hearing implant magnet for the scan as this can cause an infection. Plus, if the magnet is removed repeatedly it is more likely to break down. We can perform the MRI scan with the magnet still under your skin by firmly bandaging the implant in place.
How can you scan me with the magnet still in place?
In order to keep the implant in place, we will place a plastic card over the magnet and hold this in place with a pressure bandage. The bandage will feel tight but should not be too uncomfortable, and can be taken off immediately after the scan.
Will this hurt?
Some patients do experience discomfort during the MRI scan. Most people find they can tolerate this without needing to take painkillers. However, if you wish, you can take some paracetamol before the scan. If you find the scan too uncomfortable you can stop the scan at any time by pressing the buzzer. We would then discuss the possibility of using an injection of local anaesthetic around the implant with you.
If you have any questions, please contact your NF2 specialist nurse or the MRI department on 01752 432511