Whether you don’t like enclosed spaces or you don’t like visiting the doctor, an open MRI has several benefits so that the doctor can view areas of the body that other diagnostic tests won’t allow the doctor to see. An open MRI scanner is one that doesn’t have the large tube that the table slides in and out of like a traditional machine. This is where the benefits come into play. The primary benefit is that if you are claustrophobic, the machine makes it easier to have a scan completed because a large machine turns around the table. You aren’t inside of a small space where you feel like you can’t move and where the noise from the machine is overwhelming. There are some people who might have claustrophobic feelings for the first time while inside an MRI tube, which can be prevented with the open design.
There are some patients who aren’t able to have an MRI done because of certain conditions. They might be overweight and can’t physically fit in the tube. Elderly patients might not be able to move easily enough to get onto the table. They might not feel safe while inside the tube. With the open design, more patients are able to have an MRI completed so that a doctor can diagnose conditions and begin treatments that could potentially save that person’s life. When you’re on the table, you can look around the exam room to see the nurses and technicians who are there with you. It’s comforting as you aren’t able to see anything except lights and the inside of a machine with the traditional scanner.
Another benefit is that there is enough room to allow for a parent to stay with a child who might be afraid of all of the equipment in the room. Some rooms have a television that you can watch while getting the scan done, calming your nerves so that the process can be completed as quickly as possible. If you’re comfortable, then it benefits the doctor as images will be clear and precise, preventing you from needing another scan done only a short time later.