Open MRI ?? Is there really such a thing?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Kinsie, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Kinsie

    Kinsie New Member

    Are there actually 2 different kinds of MRI's? I have heard of an "open-air" MRI.

    Does anyone know?

  2. RedHeadEMT

    RedHeadEMT New Member

    Hi Kinsie,

    Yes, there sure is an open MRI. It is shaped like a donut and is great for folks who have issues with closed spaces/anxiety.

    My mom has anxiety issues and refuses to go into a "closed" MRI, when recently she HAD to have one on her hip. SO, I told her about the open MRI and she formally requested it with her doc, who told her where the nearest one was, scheduling my mom's MRI there. The only setback is that there are few OPEN MRIs and lots of folks who would much rather use those than the "closed" ones, so the wait list is longer. Instead of waiting a few days for her MRI, my mom had to wait almost 2-3 weeks.

    Hope that helps. Take good care of yourself!

  3. Kinsie

    Kinsie New Member

    I thought there was such a thing. I don't mind the wait. I have no choice!!

  4. jess

    jess New Member

    Hi, I have actually had an open one. I also had a closed one. I hated the closed in feeling and the noise even with ear plugs.The closed one really did me in. The open one was a piece of cake. I would never have a closed one again. The only draw back according to my Dr. was the closed one somehow is more accurate. Believe me, the open one shows what it needs to. I had a diagnosis with it. Good luck, don't worry, it's fairly easy to go through. Jess
  5. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Dear Kinsie,
    I've had both. I put myself under hypnosis for the closed MRI, so it wasn't too bad. However, I requested an open MRI a few moths ago, and it was a breeze.

    I got up on a comfortable table, and they swung the round contraption over my head. (It was a neck MRI). I just lay there. That's all there was to it.

    Good luck,
  6. mary124

    mary124 New Member

    I never had an open one, but my husband has. It is a longer waiting time, usually 2-3 weeks, but it is worth it.
  7. winsomme

    winsomme New Member

    i think generally speaking the closed MRIs are supposed to give a better picture of the thing they are scanning.

    i know that when i went to a neurologist, he wnated me to have a closed scan.

    still, open gives you an option if the closed is too traumatic. an open MRI is certainly better than not having one at all.

    i have to admit, the closed was more nerve racking, but i made it through, thankfully.
  8. FM58

    FM58 New Member

    I have had both Open & traditional closed MRI's. I am claustraphobic, so I tried the Open MRI.

    Well, it depends on what part of your body that is being scanned, if you are claustraphobic- if it is of your neck or head-well personnally for me the Open MRI was worse than the traditional. That was even being dosed w/ xanax.
    The machine comes extremely close to the part of your body that it is imaging, although the sides of your body ae exposed.

    When I had mine, I thought I was staying still- the tech had to stop because I was shaking, although I did not realize I was. I tried very hard to stay still, even though the thing was inches from my face, when my neck was being scanned.

    I ended up having to use sedation w/ a traditional CT scan. There are only a few places that do this, typically only 1x month. I had several that way. Now I am able to xanax & use relaxation techniques through it. I just have to have some one drive me (because of the xanax).

    Kinsie, why are you considering an open MRI- because of being claustraphobic? Have you tried using any meds to relax you? As other posters have stated- the traditional MRI is able to show a clearer more concise picture than an open MRI is. Can you do some relaxation techniques to help you?

    Most places let you bring your own CD, I try to bring one w/ very mellow music or a specific relaxation CD- do you own anything like that?

    Best of luck-let us know what happens.
  9. Kinsie

    Kinsie New Member

    You all are great. Thank you for your detailed replies.

    I'm afraid my claustrophobia is so bad that I can barely ride in an elevator. Never could I get in one alone, and even when someone is with me, I begin to panic if I have to ride for several floors.

    There is not enough sedation in the world to get me into a closed MRI machine. I would have to be completely knocked out before I left home, and even then I would be in such a panic thinking I would possibly wake up while in the machine.

    When a person has a bad case of claustrophobia, there is no reasoning with them!!!

    I know it's perfectly normal to have the MRI. I know they would not leave me in there, and go home. I know I really wouldn't die. I can know all those things, but the irrational thoughts still take over.

    So, when I go to the Pain Clinic next week, and if they recommond an MRI, it will have to be the open type, or I'll just have to pass on having it done.

    It's a shame to be the way I am, but no matter what, I just can't help it.

    Again, thanks to all.

  10. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I had a open MRI. I believe you need to ask for it but it was much better than the closed.

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