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MRI Claustrophobia two views

Relieve MRI claustrophobia by knowing the types of open mri machine

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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.

  Number 3 technique


You could prepare yourself with any or all of the other techniques in this list only to have them negated by walking into the exam room and being suprized by the machine itself. One of the simpliest ways to relive MRI stress is to know what the MRI machine is like before you go in for the exam.

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.

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.

Search our list of the more popular MRI machines.

In the link above, you can 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. And the directory at the bottom right of this page enables you to find and call MRI facilities to even make a visit.

You wouldn't buy a mattress without lying down on one. Why wouldn't you try out an MRI machine? 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.

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

Call your doctor or imaging facility before your next MRI and ask them what MRI they will use with you.

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Find the most 'open' MRI possible.

So your doctor ordered an MRI for you. Feeling claustrophobic already? Maybe more than a little nervous? There are many things you can do before the actual exam and perhaps the most important one is to find a MRI facility and machine that fits your needs best.

You've probably heard of 'open' MRIs and many imaging facilities now offer these new types of machines. The ones that truely are more open can help reduce a lot of a patient's anxiety or stress. However, some advertised 'open' MRIs are not as 'open' as you might think. So how do you know which are 'open' and which are not?

Search our list of the more popular MRI machines.

MRI of Southfield
Panorama 0.6T by Philips

The list will include pictures like the one of this panarama 'open' MRI machine and descriptions for you to reference when talking with an MRI imaging facility or center. Remember, they are only pictures. Only visiting or viewing the actual machine in person will give you the truest understanding of what it is like. Which leads us to the pretty smart idea of doing just that.

It is not at all unheard of to call an imaging facility or center before making an appointment and asking them a few questions. You should not be embarrassed to do so. In fact, it quite common and they should have no problem telling you what type of MRI machine they have or would even use with your specific doctor's order. Most welcome potential patients coming in and checking out the room and the machine. Qualilty facilities and their staff want to do whatever they can to make the exam as comfortable and stress-free as possible for you. So give them a call.

Here is a directory which can help you find and contact many of the MRI facilities nearest to you.

Two Views Directory

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