Open vs. Closed MRI | Independent Imaging

If your doctor has ordered an MRI, you may be feeling anxious about the test. While MRIs are far from anybody’s favorite activity, they are necessary for diagnostic purposes. MRI (or magnetic resonance imaging) machines allow doctors to diagnose diseases like cancer and dementia in their earliest stages.

Did you know you have some options when it comes to MRIs? You can either get an open MRI or a closed MRI, depending on your needs and preferences. Here are the key differences between open and closed MRIs to help you determine which one you’re more comfortable with.

Closed MRI Machines

A closed MRI machine is the most accurate for imaging purposes. This is the traditional version of the machine that has been used in the medical field for decades. It involves having you lie on a padded table that travels into a narrow tube to perform the test. MRI machines are very useful medical tools that produce incredibly detailed images – which are crucial for accurate diagnoses.

The major benefits of a closed MRI are the unparalleled details and accuracy of the images produced. A closed MRI has a strong magnetic field that can provide high-quality images of things such as anatomic structures, fibrocartilage, multiple sclerosis lesions, and hepatic metastases.

However, closed MRI machines have some disadvantages that you should keep in mind. Because of the physical shape of a closed MRI machine, it can be difficult for some people to get an MRI test done in them.

First, the shape of the MRI machine requires you to enter and stay in an enclosed space for several minutes while the test is performed. For individuals who feel uncomfortable in tight spaces or have claustrophobia, an MRI in a closed MRI machine can be very uncomfortable.

Also, some individuals cannot physically fit into a closed MRI machine, which prevents them from getting imaging tests done using MRI technology.

Open MRI Machines

Because of the disadvantages associated with closed MRI machines, engineers have created wide-bore MRIs that are much larger in size. An open MRI machine allows you to get an MRI performed in an open-faced machine rather than the traditional enclosed capsule.

When you get an MRI done in an open MRI machine, you will notice machine components below and on top of you, however, nothing will be enclosing you on the sides, above your head, or at your feet. This is a more comfortable experience for individuals who suffer from claustrophobia, are uncomfortable in tight, enclosed spaces, or cannot fit into a traditional closed MRI machine.

The open MRI machine also does not make as much noise as a closed MRI machine, which puts individuals who have auditory sensitivity at ease. Younger patients such as children are also more amenable to open MRIs.

Which MRI Is Right For Me?

Unfortunately, open MRIs are not an option for everyone. If your doctor has ordered an MRI test for you and you want to explore which MRI is right for you (closed or open), you should have a discussion with your doctor. Express any concerns you may have about a closed MRI and inquire if an open MRI is right for the type of images your doctor needs.

Open and Closed MRIs in Palm Beach County, Florida

If you are in need of an MRI and want to learn more about closed and open MRI machines, talk to the experts at Independent Imaging. Our radiologists value the comfort of patients as much as we value providing clear scans for an accurate diagnosis. Our compassionate specialists provide patient-centered care and will work with you to produce imaging results that are not only accurate and useful but also a comfortable experience for you. To make an appointment, call us at (561) 795-5558 or request an appointment now.

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