If you’re experiencing pain, it may be best to get checked using an open MRI. Read on to learn about the top 3 benefits of an open MRI.
Something’s been bothering you and you’re not sure what. You put it off as long as you can until you finally break down and see your doctor.
Your physician isn’t exactly sure why you’re in pain, although, they likely have a couple of ideas. To make sure they’re right or to pinpoint the cause of your pain, they’d like you to have an MRI.
So, what is an MRI in the first place? You may have heard horror stories about them, such as they can trigger major anxiety and fear, make you feel claustrophobic, or require you to take medication in order to get through the procedure.
The people who told you these stories probably had a traditional closed MRI, which is completely different from the open MRI offered at SUMA MRI.
In this guide, we explain what an open MRI is and the top three benefits of having one.
What’s the Difference Between an Open MRI and Closed?
Today, magnetic resonance imaging is a common procedure used to find out the root cause of many symptoms. In fact, there are approximately 30 million MRI scans performed every year.
In simple terms, an MRI machine is a giant magnet that, traditionally, is shaped like a tube and the patient lies inside. Machines have different powered magnets, from .5 to 3.0 Tesla. Radio waves get sent into the body and conduct with the magnets. The data is transmitted back to a computer which creates the image. Of course, it’s much more detailed and complicated!
There are two kinds of MRIs: closed and open.
The closed MRI was the first used. A patient lies down and slides all the way into a 24-inch wide capsule. It doesn’t sound very comfortable, does it? In fact, a traditional MRI can feel very claustrophobic and can’t accommodate larger patients due to the size of the tube.
Hence, the creation of the open MRI.
An open MRI is like a closed MRI in the way that the magnets and radio waves work to produce images. The difference is that in an open MRI, a patient isn’t enclosed in a capsule.
So what are the benefits of an open MRI? We have the top three below.
1. Open MRIs Are More Comfortable
Because a patient isn’t fully-enclosed, an open MRI machine is far more comfortable for many people. This is important for most people, even if you don’t suffer from claustrophobia or anxiety.
MRIs can take a long time — in some cases, over an hour to complete. During an MRI the patient must remain still. If there’s any type of panic, the MRI tech has to stop the machine.
Sometimes, they have to start over or from the last series of passes. This makes the process even longer. Open MRIs reduce the chance the patient will need to stop due to feeling claustrophobic.
To make the procedure even more comfortable, a patient can even watch TV while their scan is being done!
2. You Don’t Have to Lay Down
At SUMA MRI, we offer open upright MRIs. These incredible machines allow a patient to sit, stand, bend, or even lay down.
For those with claustrophobia or anxiety, this is even more comforting. But, it’s also comforting for patients who can’t lay down for an extended time due to pain.
3. They’re Cost Effective
Believe it or not, open MRIs are more cost-effective than closed MRIs.
Open MRI is less restrictive, which allows the doctor or MRI technician to target specific areas of pain better. Tests results are more accurate and delivered faster.
The sooner the doctor can make a diagnosis, the sooner you can start your treatment. This saves money all the way around because some issues can get caught before they become major problems.
Our goal is to provide a cheap MRI scan to patients, with or without a doctor referral.
Are You Ready to Schedule Your Open MRI?
If your doctor would like you to have an MRI, you now know you have nothing to fear! You may also have a choice: open MRI.
If you’d like to know if an open MRI is suitable for your requested scan, reach out to us at SUMA MRI. We’re the leader in the midwest when it comes to stand-up MRI technology.