Medical resonance imaging (MRI) is an extremely useful technology that helps health care providers treat a wide variety of disorders that might otherwise be difficult to diagnose. Unlike X-rays and CT scans, MRIs use no radiation whatsoever. Patients may find them problematic for other reasons, however.
The scanning device used during an MRI is a closed cylindrical capsule that many people find physically or psychologically uncomfortable. The scan itself typically takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete, and this is a long time to lie motionless in a narrow tube. Many people become claustrophobic within that confined space, and some even experience panic attacks. Open MRI New Jersey is a modified MRI testing environment that doesn’t confine its subjects within a tight space; this helps patients remain more relaxed throughout the procedure.
How Do MRIs Work?
Both MRIs and open MRIs use strong magnetic fields and radio waves to penetrate the surface of the body and create detailed anatomical images. The MRI scanner itself is actually a large magnet; this is the reason why patients are told not to wear or carry any metallic objects when they’re undergoing the procedure. MRIs cannot be used to diagnose patients who have any kind of metal implant such as a cardiac pacemaker. MRI scanners can be calibrated to varying magnetic field strengths between 0.5 teslas and 3.0 teslas; the higher the force of the magnetic field, the higher the resolution of the resulting images.
Open MRI testing devices are machines that use magnets on the top and on the bottom but that don’t enclose subjects within a capsule. Open MRIs can often accommodate subjects whose body weight won’t allow them to fit comfortably into the narrow capsule used during conventional MRIs. Open MRIs are also considerably less likely to trigger anxiety attacks.
Open MRIs may not always be as versatile as conventional MRIs, however. If you are affected by a condition that requires you to undergo a conventional MRI, speak candidly with your physician. He or she may be able to give you medication that will help you remain comfortable throughout the procedure.