radiologist explaining an open mri

Is an MRI open?

Is an MRI open?

If your doctor has ordered an MRI, you may feel a bit of apprehension. Traditional MRI machines can be nerve-wracking for those who suffer from claustrophobia. But a true open MRI, which is open on all four sides, can make all the difference in the world when it comes to relieving anxiety and giving you peace of mind. Here’s what to expect from an open MRI.

Fresh air.

While a traditional MRI leaves some patients feeling closed-in, an open MRI gives the patient room to breathe. An open MRI offers more space between the machine and the patient’s face. You will be able to see all around you, which can substantially lessen anxiety. Because there is constant airflow, the temperature won’t become stifling.

Easier communication with your care team.

During an open MRI, you will be able to see your care team at all times. If needed, you may be able to bring a family member or friend to keep you company during the scan. If you have a question or need to stop the scan for any reason, you will be able to communicate easily with your technician or doctor and get a response right away. It can be very comforting to have a familiar face nearby to talk with you, or just be present. This is especially appealing for parents of children that need an MRI, because they can be in the room during the scan.

More comfort.

A true open MRI will give you more room to get comfortable. Open MRIs leave more room for comfort measures such as a pillow, blanket, or headphones to listen to music. The extra space is particularly helpful for patients who may be larger in stature or who suffer from claustrophobia or anxiety.

Excellent diagnostics.

In the past, open MRIs have had weaker magnets, leading to poorer image quality. However, the latest in open MRI technology is cutting-edge and produces extremely high quality images. The higher quality the image, the clearer and more precise the diagnosis. Patients no longer have to sacrifice diagnostic quality for the sake of comfort and peace of mind. Ask your doctor if an open MRI is the best option for you.

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