What’s the Difference Between an Open and Closed MRI?

What’s the Difference Between an Open and Closed MRI?

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A magnetic resonance machine uses a combination of radio waves, strong magnetic fields and magnetic field gradients to produce images of the body’s tissues and organs. These common radiological tests help doctors diagnose and treat patients. In addition, MRIs are used in research and clinical trials to determine how the body acts and reacts. The non-invasive scans are available in an open or closed machine.

MRI Basics

MRIs are expensive machines owned by hospitals, imaging centers and some clinics. The scanner uses radio waves and a magnet to send cross-sectional images to a computer. The patient lies still on a table that slides into a large tube. Unlike X-rays and CT scans, MRIs use magnets instead of ionizing radiation. The advanced imaging Toms River NJ allows doctors to see cancer, tumors, brain anomalies, certain diseases, joint injuries, cysts and fibroids. Before having an MRI, patients must remove any metal objects on their person. A radiologist handles the scan, guides the patient and interprets the images.

Closed MRI

The oldest version of the MRI is a closed capsule-like space. The scanner sends high-resolution images but can be uncomfortable for many patients. Those suffering from claustrophobia have an even harder time with the closed MRI. Each scan can last for several minutes where patients may endure discomfort. Those with anxiety may develop panic attacks in the confined space. Larger patients may not fit inside the space unless it is a wide-bore MRI.

Open MRI

An open MRI works like a traditional except that the MRI is open on all sides with a magnet at the bottom and top. Unfortunately, the open MRI doesn’t work for all conditions or areas of the body.

Don’t be daunted when your doctor orders an MRI. A little knowledge can put the power back into you to choose whether you want a closed or open MRI. Find a facility that offers the one you want and is in network. You can relax knowing you chose the right one for you and your doctor gets the imaging they need to help you.

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