Understanding the Open MRI Test: What It Is and What It Does

by | Oct 1, 2019 | Imaging Centers

For people who have been given a prescription to get an MRI, it can be a bit confusing what this process will consist of. People who have never taken an MRI can be a bit frightened if they do not understand what the experience will be like. An MRI is a painless experience that usually takes less than an hour to complete and does not involve any invasive medical procedures.

During an MRI, the patient lays onto a movable X-ray table and rolls into a machine that uses magnetic waves to get a more in-depth view of things going on in specified areas of their body. The only concern for most people who are looking to get an MRI done is the concern over feeling too confined during the testing. The good news is in the last 15 years a new format using open MRI machines has become increasingly popular. While the testing process using open MRI equipment is the same, there is a much more expansive area around the body to allow for a less confined feeling during the test.

For people who get anxiety when they feel confined, the use of open MRI equipment is a good solution. The time it takes to complete the test is the same with both machines; the only difference is the comfort to the patient. Additionally, the use of open MRI machines can be helpful for people who are built larger than average and need more space during testing.

The only noticeable difference in an open MRI test is the results. Because the magnetic field is less confined, the results may come back with less detail. This occurs because the magnetic field passes through an open span area versus a condensed space making the magnetic field less powerful. However, the overall results will be the same.

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