If your doctor has recommended you get an MRI and you can feel the anxiety by simply saying the word MRI, you have other options. An MRI used to mean you had to lie down in a tube for a long period of time with no peripheral vision and the inability to move at all. If you were even the slightest bit claustrophobic, it was almost impossible to relax during the test. Today, many centers are offering open MRI in St. Paul, MN. Learning the difference between the two types will help you determine which one is right for you.
The traditional MRI has a patient lying on his back in a tube that is enclosed. The open end of the tube is at the feet, which means the head is completely enclosed. Some centers have a mirror at the front of the machine to allow patients to see out, but this is the only area in which they have a view of the outside of the tube. The tube is a little bigger than the average person, which makes it a restricted space. The test itself can take a few minutes to almost an hour, which can be difficult for many patients.
An open MRI in St. Paul, MN, offers patients a more pleasant experience because they are not restricted to lying in the prone position, unable to move a muscle. Patients can sit, stand or lie down for the procedure. The difference is there are no tubes in which the patient is enclosed. The magnets that scan the body are positioned in the exact area of the body they are needed, which is why patients can be in just about any position to have their test performed.
Which One Is Better?
The type of MRI you choose is a personal preference. If you are content lying in a tube for a long period of time without the ability to move or see far outside the tube, you could probably handle the traditional MRI. If you are the least bit claustrophobic, do not like to lie still or want to be in a position other than lying down, the open MRI in St. Paul, MN, is the better choice for you. Before you make any choices, talk to your doctor to determine which procedure will be best for your exact circumstances.