Open MRI Benefits
Discover a more comfortable MRI exam with the spacious design of an Open MRI. This technology is designed to put your well-being first. Say goodbye to anxious thoughts and fear during your MRI so you can prioritize what matters most —your health.
Have MRI Questions? Let Us Help.
How Does an Open MRI Work?
MRI produces photos of the inside of your body using magnets and radio waves. Different tissue characteristics are translated into different contrast levels on the image. A typical procedure averages 30-45 minutes, depending on the type of information required by your physician. You can help to make your images as clear as possible by relaxing and remaining still during the exam. Some patients even fall asleep during their MRI exam.
Why is an MRI Important?
MRI is important because the scans help diagnose and monitor patients accurately while producing detailed images for your doctor to make the best decisions about your care plan. MRI can show the difference between healthy and diseased tissue and provide important information about the brain, spine, joints, and internal organs. It can lead to early detection and treatment of disease and has no known side effects.
Is There Any Prep Involved in an Open MRI?
While most exams do not have requirements, some may need you to fast a few hours before the exam. Your doctor will give you instructions if that is necessary. You will be asked to remove external devices such as a Dexcom monitor or insulin pump that are incompatible with the magnetic field. Check with your physician or MRI technologist if you have had any brain, ear, or eye surgeries or any of the following: Pacemaker, neurostimulators (TENS unit), metal implants, Intrauterine device, Aneurysm clips, surgical staples, implanted drug infusion device, foreign metal objects in the eye or permanent eyeliner.
MRIs can be loud. What Causes the Noise?
Once the exam begins, you will hear a knocking sound representing changes in the magnetic field. This sound is a normal part of the imaging process. We offer headphones during the exam to provide you with a more peaceful experience.
Does an MRI Hurt?
No, an MRI itself does not hurt. However, lying still for an extended period can become uncomfortable, and some people might feel claustrophobic inside the MRI machine. It’s important to talk to your doctor before your exam if you feel you may be uncomfortable. Additionally, you’ll receive a call button to hold onto before the exam is started. It will allow you to maintain two-way communication with the technologist during the exam.
What's the Difference Between a Regular (Closed) MRI and an Open MRI?
An Open MRI is a type of magnetic resonance imaging that features a more open and spacious design, providing greater comfort and accessibility, making it suitable for patients who may experience claustrophobia or have mobility challenges. A Closed MRI is a traditional MRI machine with a narrow tunnel design, which can be confining and less comfortable for some patients but may offer higher magnetic field strength and image quality for certain medical applications.
Will My Entire Body Go Into the Open MRI?
Not always. The part of the body being imaged will be centered in the magnetic field. However, for imaging areas like the spine or brain, most of your body might be inside the machine.
Who Reads the Open MRI Results?
When your referring doctor says they have reviewed your MRI results, that usually means they have reviewed the imaging exam with a radiologist. An MRI radiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in interpreting and diagnosing MRIs. The radiologist interpreting your MRI serves as a knowledgeable advisor to the doctor who requested the MRI.
How Do I Know if I Need to Book with an Open MRI Machine?
Patients should consider booking an Open MRI if they experience claustrophobia, have larger body sizes or mobility challenges, or are pediatric patients. It can also be the preferred choice based on specific medical needs or personal comfort and preference. Consulting with a healthcare provider can help determine the most suitable option.