Why Open MRI?

So your doctor recommends an MRI for your condition or injury. Maybe you’re feeling anxious because you don’t like small, confined spaces. Maybe your large, athletic build makes an MRI difficult. Even though this process is painless and has no known side effects, many patients are claustrophobic, physically challenged or just built larger than the average MRI machine. Children can also be scared to be alone in this apparatus.

That’s why we offer an open MRI at our Beaver Dam facility. MRIs are often vital in diagnosing a condition or injury, and we want our patients to be comfortable and anxiety-free. Adults have more room and accessibility; children can hold their parent’s hand or at least see their loved ones while being scanned. An open MRI also makes considerably less noise than a traditional machine, provides the most accurate diagnostic images and accommodates even the most debilitating cases. 

Look at the difference between the closed and the open MRI:

The good news is, anyone with MRI orders from a doctor can come and get an open MRI at Excel’s facility. You don’t necessarily have to be a patient of here. Here are the answers to some frequently asked open MRI questions:

What is magnetic resonance imaging?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a special test that produces very clear, detailed pictures of the organs and structures in your body. The test uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to create images in cross-section. While an X-ray is very good at showing bones, an MRI shows soft tissues such as ligaments and cartilage and organs such as your eyes, brain, and heart.

When is it used?

We use open MRI to examine joints, soft tissues and other injuries. An MRI may show whether you have torn ligaments or torn cartilage and help us decide whether or not you need surgery. Outside of orthopedics, it may be used to evaluate nerve disorders, blood vessel disorders, brain and spinal cord injuries, tumors, and problems with the ears, eyes, adrenal glands, kidneys, the prostate gland and the bladder.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

No special preparation is needed. You may eat normally and take any usual medicines. For the test, wear loose, comfortable clothing without metal fastenings such as zippers or clasps because metal will interfere with the test. Do not wear jewelry. If you have any metal in your body (such as plates or screws from a previous surgery) tell us. If you have a pacemaker you may or may not be able to have an MRI, depending on the type of pacemaker.

What happens during the procedure?

You lie down on a cushioned bed that moves under the scanner. Sometimes you are given a shot of a fluid called gadolinium before getting an MRI. This causes any abnormal areas to become very bright and easier to see. Most MRIs take between 25 and 40 minutes. You will be able to speak with the person doing the test through a sound system so you can let him or her know if you are having any problems.

What do you think of this technology versus a closed MRI?

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