Top 5 ways to relieve MRI claustrophobia.

The simplest way to relieve MRI stress may not be what you do to yourself but what facility and machine you choose to use.

Number three way to prevent claustrophobia FIND THE MOST OPEN MRI MACHINE

Why put yourself into a stressful situation if there's a less stressful opportunity available? Call around. It may be worth traveling an extra few miles away to have your MRI done in a 'more open' MRI machine.

MRI facility
Any medical facility should be able to tell you what machine they would use for your doctor's order and even provide a description of it and your exact proceedure.

So call around. Ask what machine or scanner they would use and look it up in our list of pictures to the right of this column.

We've created a quick data base for you to actually see and read about the contraption you will be in so you can visualize it (and decide if it's 'open' enough) before you ever go. It's worth a call or two.

Smart shopping doesn't just mean clipping coupons and saving pennies. In this case it can also mean saving a lot of undue anxiety.

There are three different types of open MRI machine constructions:

    Semi open high field MRI scanners provide an ultra short bore (tunnel) and widely flared ends. In this type of MRI systems, patients lie with the head in the space outside the bore, if for example the hips are examined. See an example of a semi-open high field MRI scanner here.

    Open low field MRI machines have often a wide open design, e.g. an open C-arm scanner is shaped like two large discs separated by a large pillar. Patients have an open sided feeling and more space around them allows a wider range of positions. See an example of an open low field MRI scanner here.

    Advanced open MRI scanners combine the advantages of both, the high field strength, newest gradient technology and wide open design. Even scans of patients in upright, weight-bearing positions are possible, including sitting or even standing with nothing in front of you. See an example of an advanced open MRI scanner here.
Call your doctor or imaging facility before your next MRI and ask them what MRI they will use with you. For pictures of many of these open MRI machines with their names and descriptions, see our list to the right.

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GOOD SOURCES FOR FURTHER READING: Dictionary of Medical Terms, 4th Edition, from A&C Black Publishers Ltd., Grey's Anatomy, The Classic Collector's Edition, by Henry Gray, Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, Second Edition by Mayo Clinic, Howard Gallager, Mayo Foundation, Women's Health, Men's Health and Health for Seniors all by Professor Peter Abrahams, the National Cancer Institute, the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Radiology.

See what your doctor's MRI machine looks like here.

So your doctor ordered an MRI for you. Feeling claustrophobic already?

Many imaging facilities now offer new typse of MRI machines that are dramatically more 'open'. These machines can help reduce a lot of a patient's anxiety.

Call ahead and ask the facility what specific MRI machine they will use with your test. Then click the name from our list below to see pictures and descriptions of it before you go.

NOTE: Many of these including the stand up MRI machines may or may not be available near you yet. If you are going outside of your local area, make sure you call your insurance company to see if the testing will be covered under your medical insurance policy. You don't want to have the proceedure only to find out that you are on the hook for the entire bill.

If you are a imaging facility or a MRI manufacturer and would like to include your machine not already listed here, please contact us here.

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