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Open MRI Installation | XL Health Blog

Open MRI Installation

Posted on 11. Apr, 2014 by in Medical

Why Open MRI?

Since traditional MRI machines involve enclosing patients in a tomb-like cavity for extended periods, they have caused a great deal of anxiety, even in those who do not consider themselves claustrophobic. They are also problematic for large or obese persons who may not fit comfortably into the narrow tube. As a result, the open MRI has been developed as a convenient, cost-effective alternative, and facilities around the country are increasingly adding open MRI installation on their list of priorities.

The advantages of an open MRI are clear. Patients are free to move their arms and see what is around them. Also, if they are nervous or apprehensive, patients can keep a loved one in view, or even hold their hand. They are especially useful for children because, depending on the machine, scans can be quite fast, and Mom or Dad can provide assurance through physical contact. Moreover, open MRI scans tend to be less expensive than their traditional counterparts, sometimes by as much as half. Finally, most open MRI machines can accommodate weights up to 600 pounds; whereas, traditional MRI scanners top out at only 350 pounds.

There are some disadvantages to the open MRI. For example, some models may provide lower quality scans than traditional machines due to a much lower signal-to-noise ratio, which often requires longer scanning time, but higher quality scanners do not have this problem. In addition, some insurance companies are reluctant to pay for open MRI scans because they do not yet acknowledge their usefulness. Fortunately, this attitude is rapidly changing. The primary disadvantage to open MRI scans is their current lack of availability. However, this too is changing, and most large cities now have several facilities to choose from.

Overall, patients able to locate open MRI machines are likely to find them both practical and convenient, not to mention more soothing to the nerves.  As open MRI installation increases, the machines should soon become ubiquitous and inexpensive enough that, despite their few disadvantages, they should likely become fully accepted by patients and insurance companies alike, and as common as the traditional MRI machines.

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