4 Benefits of an Open MRI

What is an Open MRI? The term “Open MRI” is used to refer to many different types of devices. Some hospitals and imaging facilities refer to their machine as an Open MRI, when really, they mean that the bore is wider or that it’s open on three sides.

At Medical Imaging Express, we are proud to offer a uniquely designed Open, Weight-Bearing MRI. It’s the first of its kind in South Carolina. Below are 4 circumstances where the Open MRI offers an advantage over a closed “tube” MRI:

1. Many Patients are Claustrophobic in an MRI Tube

The most obvious advantage of the Open MRI is that it can significantly reduce symptoms of claustrophobia. One in ten patients is diagnosed with clinical claustrophobia, but as many as one in four patients may experience the symptoms of claustrophobia during an MRI. These symptoms include chest tightening, difficulty breathing, increased blood pressure, hot flashes, sweating, nausea and hyperventilating. With an open-room environment, patients can look out the window, hold hands with a family member or even wear headphones.

“Many patients tell me that they couldn’t get through a conventional tube MRI and needed to pause the procedure due to a claustrophobic reaction,” explains our MRI Technologist. “Some patients have nowhere else to turn. Our Open MRI is a game changer.”

2. Wide Variety of Imaging Options, Including Focused Assessments

Our Open, Weight-Bearing MRI can accommodate a wide variety of imaging needs, from orthopedic (feet, legs, hands, arms, wrists) to dental (TMJ & TMD imaging), through the use of MR coils.

An MR coil acts like a radio antenna to receive the radio signals and capture images of your body. The coils look like a frame covering just the part of the body being scanned.

3. Weight-Bearing Scans for More Accurate Diagnoses

Not only is our MRI open on all sides, but it can perform weight-bearing scans. You can take the scan while lying down, as you would normally. We can also tilt the magnet up and scan patients in an upright or semi-upright position. This replicates the normal compression that tissues undergo on a daily basis, allowing radiologists to spot abnormalities that might otherwise go unnoticed. This is great for diagnosing conditions related to:

  • Lower back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Sports Injuries
  • Spinal Injuries

4. Comfortable for Larger Patients (up to 450 lbs.)

Bariatric patients often have difficulty fitting comfortably into a conventional “tube” (closed bore) MRI machine. Not only is it uncomfortable to fit snugly in an MRI bore, but touching the walls of the tube can lead to burns. Generally, MRI tunnels are warm, but occasionally heat is concentrated and can cause serious burns.

The true Open, Weight-Bearing MRI at Medical Imaging Express removes the conventional “tube” altogether, replacing it with an open-room MRI that is ideal for larger patients, up to 450 lbs.

Medical Imaging Services in Greenville, SC

Medical Imaging Express is located at 361 Woodruff Rd in Greenville, SC. Along with Open MRIs, we also offer x-rays and ultrasounds. To learn more about the imaging services offered by Medical Imaging Express, give us at call at (864) 990-2987 or fill out the form below.