An MRI is not always a pleasant experience, but if you are claustrophobic, it can be one of the most stressful and anxiety-ridden experiences you can imagine. MRIs are a very useful tool in detecting and diagnosing health problems and sometimes; many times they unavoidable because there are no other medical testing methods that are as reliable for the type of testing you need. If you have claustrophobia and need to get have an MRI, there are a number of coping mechanisms you could use, including facing your claustrophobia through therapy, listening to music on your iPod, using relaxation and breathing techniques, or just powering through. Or, you could try open, high-field MRI. Here is more to know about MRIs, especially if you are claustrophobic.
What is an MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging – MRI –is a medical diagnostic test that uses radio waves, magnets, and a computer to create visual images of the inside of a body. It’s a very common, non-invasive test that not only can help diagnose conditions, but can track progress of healing. Of the many things MRIs can help diagnose are:
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
- Blood vessel damage
- Heart problems (heart disease, damage from a heart attack, etc.)
- Joint damage
- Organ health (breasts, liver, ovaries, prostate, etc.)
What can I expect during an MRI?
MRI machines are tube-like structures with a space in the middle that contains a platform. During the test, the patient lays still on the platform as it moves into the tube structure. The test is painless and typically takes no longer than 20-30 minutes. Little preparation is required on the part of the patient for an MRI test. Those who are claustrophobic may have trouble having MRIs done because the space is so confined. The experience is quite different for those who choose open, high-field MRI machines.
What is an Open, High-Field MRI?
An open, high-field MRI machine performs the same function as a regular MRI but is structured differently. Instead of a tube, an open MRI has scanners on the sides with an opening on top, making it an outstanding option for those who have claustrophobia. The patient lays comfortably on a platform while the scanners on the sides do all the work. Open MRIs offer the same benefits as regular MRIs but can accommodate to the unique needs of patients. This type of machine is also great for patients with a larger body build, or those who may be confined to a wheelchair or the elderly, who may find it difficult to maneuver on to the platform.
Finding an Open MRI Near You
If you are claustrophobic or putting off getting an MRI because you are apprehensive, open, high-field MRI may be right for you. When you get a referral for an MRI, be sure to ask your doctor to refer you to a facility that has open, high-field MRI machines, as not every imaging center has this capability.
If you are located in or around Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, or Belle Glade, consider Independent Imaging, which proudly offers open, high-field MRI as well as other diagnostic imaging. The professionals at Independent Imaging are professional and compassionate and treat patients in a courteous and respectful manner. To make an appointment at one of their four convenient locations in Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, and Belle Glade, call 561-795-5558 today. You can also request an appointment online.