Advanced Open MRI vs Traditional MRIs: Which One is Right for You?

November 11, 2019 – 3 min read

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Closed MRI vs Open MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging technique that is completely safe and pain-free. This technology uses a combination of radio waves and magnets to produce detailed images of the body. A standard X-ray is usually used to view the bones and joints. With an MRI, organs, muscles, and other soft tissues are easily viewed for a diagnosis. When it comes to an MRI, there are two types: the original closed MRI and the open MRI. While they are both beneficial technologies, each one has its differences.

What is a Closed MRI?

The closed MRI has been around longer than the open MRI and is what first comes to mind when many think of an MRI. The design of the closed MRI is a closed capsule-like space where the patient lies completely flat. The system includes a large magnet and radio wave that sends and receives signals from the body which are then turned into images.

The closed shape takes images of areas other scans are unable to capture which makes closed MRIs a beneficial technology. In some cases, overweight patients may find the closed MRI to be uncomfortable as the narrow dimensions can make for a tight fit. Those suffering from claustrophobia can also feel anxiety over the closed-in space while the loud noises made by most traditional MRIs can be disorienting.

What is an Open MRI?

The open MRI is the answer to those suffering from claustrophobia or find the closed MRI too restricting. The open MRI uses the same technology but provides a fresh open-air experience that allows patients to gain a greater sense of relaxation. However, with a weaker magnetic field, images in the open MRI may be less detailed than in the traditional closed MRI.

The Advanced Open MRI is the latest in open MRI technology which can provide the best of both MRIs. The Advanced Open MRI has wide-open space in front, behind and above during most exams and lets patients sit, lie down, stand, or bend.

The Advanced Open MRI can be a great option for children as it allows parents to be able to hold hands with their child, and in some cases, patients can even watch a TV show. Since the open MRI provides more space, larger patients will find the exam more comfortable, along with those suffering from claustrophobia.

Another interesting feature of the Advanced Open MRI is its weight-bearing imaging. This technology allows every part of the body to be imaged in a weight-bearing state to capture the full effect of gravity. This is beneficial for those suffering from injuries since the Advanced Open MRI allows patients to be positioned where they’re experiencing the most pain.

Closed and Open MRIs at American Health Imaging

At American Health Imaging, we provide both traditional closed MRIs and open MRIs. The Advanced Open MRI is offered in Decatur, GA and San Antonio, TX. Our ever-evolving technology in the MRI space lets us capture more immersive images to better serve our patients’ health.

Whether you’re considering a traditional closed MRI or an open MRI, contact us today to learn more or set up an appointment.