If the thought of being in an enclosed area while you’re having a medical scan completed is a bit frightening, you’re not alone. An MRI is often needed to detect issues in your body that aren’t revealed by other tests. However, the nature of the scan can be overwhelming for many people because you’re in an enclosed space while on a table with the loud sounds from the machine around you. Fortunately, an open MRI machine is an option for many patients.
The same types of magnets and scan details are used with this design, but you’re not in a tunnel while the scan is being conducted. Instead, the sides of the machine are open to allow you to see the room you’re in, which can make many people feel more comfortable about the procedure. The open design is beneficial for many patients, such as those who are overweight and aren’t physically able to have an MRI scan using the traditional machine.
Another benefit of an open machine is that those who are elderly or who have difficulties moving around can easily get onto the table to have the scan completed. Pediatric patients can also benefit from the open design. For many children, enclosed spaces, strange sounds, and places they don’t recognize can be frightening. With the open design, a parent or a medical worker can stay with the child during the scan to offer comfort. Patients who have an IV or who have other types of tubes can benefit from the open table because the tubes don’t have to be connected or maneuvered in a way that’s uncomfortable. It’s usually easier for the technician to talk to you with an open design, which is beneficial if you have to hold your breath or move to your side during the scan in order to get a better image.