If you are claustrophobic or aren’t able to move around easily, then an open MRI machine is a better option if your doctor has ordered a scan of the body than a traditional machine. The scan usually takes less than an hour to complete, and there aren’t any special instructions that you need to follow unless your doctor has ordered that you don’t eat or drink anything. Sometimes, your doctor might want a contrast used when the MRI is performed, but this usually doesn’t result in any kind of delay aside from waiting until the contrast works through your body.
The technician will usually ask you a few questions about your health and if there are any concerns that you have. There are a few things that you should alert the technician about before the scan, such as if you’re pregnant, if you have any kind of metal in your body and if you have a pacemaker. You should also alert the technician about any tattoos that you have or any piercings that you can’t remove. Remove as many metallic items as possible before the scan is performed.
Once you’re ready for the scan, the only thing that you have to do is lay on the table and relax. Since an open machine doesn’t have an enclosed tube, you won’t hear the loud noises or be in a confined area. This is a benefit for children who might be afraid of being in an enclosed area and for those who might not be able to easily fit inside a traditional machine. The technician will tell you everything that you need to do during the scan, such as holding your breath for a few minutes or moving a certain part of your body. When the scan is complete, your doctor will often receive the results later the same day.