Open Possibilities

When your doctor requests a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), your first thought might be to panic. The thought of having your whole body slid into a tube may just be too much for you. Many people have negative thoughts about MRI’s either from past experience or from family or friends who have told about their experiences. With today’s technology, however, you have another option: the open MRI machine.

What is an MRI?

What is an MRI, Open MRI machine

MRI scans use magnets and radio waves to produce pictures on a computer. The MRI is particularly useful when a doctor needs images of soft tissues and/or the nervous system. Your doctor may request one to monitor treatment or if it is needed to help diagnose or confirm a disease or injury.

Closed MRI

Most people know about the enclosed tube of an MRI machine. The patient’s entire body is slid into the large tube for a period of time, usually between ten minutes and an hour. A mirror by the patient’s head is usually angled so he or she can see the MRI operators. Even with this feature, however, many people still feel like this is an impossible procedure. If they panic, the images may not be taken, thus delaying medical answers.

Open MRI

For those fearing the closed MRI, they may have the option of an open MRI machine. This machine is a large ring, and the patient’s body passes through it during the scan. Having it be just a ring eliminates the fear of being trapped inside a tube. Open MRI’s are a good option for children, those with obesity, and those who suffer from claustrophobia.

If you have any fears about the closed MRI machine, voice your concerns and ask your doctor if an open MRI is an option in your area. MRI no longer needs to cause panic thanks to developing technology opening our world to better imaging.

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