Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging test created to photograph the body’s organs through the use of radio waves and magnetic waves. Doctors and medical practitioners examine these photographs to determine any abnormalities in your organs, bones, soft tissues, or joints.
Thanks to continuous innovation, a new alternative referred to as the open MRI offers better comfort and reassurance to patients who may or may not suffer from anxiety or claustrophobia. During a scan, the open MRI allows a clear view ahead as well as varied, upright scanning postures such as seated, standing, and leaning. This makes it different from the traditional enclosed tunnel MRI scanners.
These types of scanners must not be mistaken with sandwich-style open MRI scanners where patients may only lie flat and basically become the filling inside the scanner. Here, we’ll discuss these three beneficial reasons why you should consider an open MRI scan.
Reason #1: Avoid Bouts of Claustrophobia
Claustrophobia, or the dread of being in confined spaces, affects around 10% of the world’s population. Tunnel MRI scanners, which require patients to lie motionless in a tunnel for up to ninety minutes, can be extremely anxiety-inducing and distressing. Patients usually end up going through moderate to severe anxiety during their tunnel MRI exam, with some requiring sedatives to get through the scan.
Meanwhile, open-fronted MRI scanner machines put worried patients at ease, allowing them to chat to families or friends for reassurance throughout the process. This is especially beneficial for young children or individuals with learning disabilities who may require more assistance.
Reason #2: Opt for Comfortability
An open MRI scan opens more possibilities for different kinds of patients while assuring them of their comfort. For one, it is the best solution for larger or heavier patients, since it can support weights of up to 35 stone or 226kg. It can also make the MRI scan as stress-free, calm, and dignified as possible, as patients can even watch television on a 50-inch screen.
Reason #3: Best Bet for Spinal Problems
The spine is subjected to five times more pressure when sitting rather than laying down, which is why scans are performed while laying down in order to demonstrate the effects of gravity without the pain and discomfort of standing.
An open MRI scan also poses advantages, as it can effectively detect various causes of spinal instability, such as spinal fusion and spondylolisthesis, a common condition called where vertebrae in the back slip out of position. At the same time, it informs patients and helps them understand the reasons for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, or also known as pelvic floor insufficiency.
Choosing an open system MRI scan might help you avoid inducing various levels of claustrophobia and anxiety without decreasing the quality of an MRI scan. Because this machine is open on all sides, staff can freely scan the needed area rather without confining you to a place all by yourself. An open MRI scanner can also accommodate patients of different sizes, making the MRI process a breeze for many.
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