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    Open MRI Scanner Pictures

    Posted by John Holden on Tue, Jan 13, 2009

    Open MRIs represent nearly 25% of all of the MRI scanners in the U.S. Though originally designed for claustrophobic and obese patients, open MRI technology has rapidly improved and these machines can do nearly any type of MRI test. You can read more about Open MRI here.

    Below are several pictures of open MRI scanners with a brief description.

    open mri scanner technologist

    The sides of the MRI scanner are open. You can  see through to the back side of room as well. The technologist is next to the table. The table rises and goes into the scanner.  Many open MRI facilities have light enhanced paintings, giving you the feeling of being outdoors.

    open mri scanner wrist mri

    The patient is getting a wrist MRI. Can you see the device around her right wrist? This is a coil. It enhances the signal from your body. All tests require a coil.

    open mri scanner altaire

    The patient has a coil wrapped around her upper body and neck. There is a sponge underneath her legs to help her stay comfortable on the hard table.

    open mri scanner reading

    The patient is getting a knee MRI. See the coil around her knee? She's also reading a magazine. This picture demonstrates that the top part of the machine and the table are quite close.

    Have you ever had an MRI done on an open MRI scanner? What was your experience like? Please leave your comments below.


    Tags: ,


    Scheduled for open MRI. When I saw the machine and laid down, I realized I would not be able to complete the test. Having the top so close to my face, and the heat generated, were too much for me; let alone the coil thing! I just couldn't do this unless they put me to sleep!

    posted @ Thursday, June 25, 2009 9:47 AM by Judi

    I have never been clostrophobic, but after they got me situated on the table, strapped, propped, etc.etc. and that huge thing came down on my face, I didn't last 1 minute, I PUSHED THE PANIC BUTTON!!! Now I'm still in pain with my original problem and scared to go back and try again. That was an awful feeling.

    posted @ Thursday, October 08, 2009 8:53 PM by Rebecca Duncan

    Iam having a scan done with an mri open scan as i tried to have one done in the london hospital and could not go through with it. i am very worried about having it done does anyone have any ways to not be worried please

    posted @ Wednesday, January 06, 2010 1:01 PM by chrissy humm

    There is no way to keep you from worrying, but I eventually now have had 3 MRI's since my first diasterous attempt. The first two they gave me Valium by mouth and the last one they gave me IV Ativan and things worked out well. Talk to your doctor and insist that they give you a sedative to relax you and help you get through it. Good Luck!!!!

    posted @ Wednesday, January 06, 2010 8:19 PM by Rebecca Duncan

    I agree with Rebecca Dunn re sedatives. In addition to being unable to complete an MRI, I've been unable to complete a catscan or bone scan. I was given oral ativan and I had to take so much I went to sleep, or it didn't work and I could not complete the testing. Then, on a recent trip to the emergency room with my first break out of shingles and a lot of intense stomach pain (since I hadn't broke out in the shingles rash yet, the doctors didn't know what was going on) they wanted to give me an MRI. I said I couldn't, and the doctor in emergency suggested the Ativan IV. It was just what I needed and I was able to complete the open MRI without any trouble. Talk to your doctor about prescribing an IV sedative, maybe Ativan? Or, whatever may work for you. It helped me a lot. I don't think it would ever help me get in the enclosed tube tho! Good luck!

    posted @ Monday, January 11, 2010 11:37 AM by Judi

    Is an open mri different then going through the other mri ? is it better or does it feel alomost the sam?

    posted @ Monday, January 18, 2010 12:19 PM by Cass

    I have been through both a closed and an open MRI and have found the open MRI much more comfortable and tolerating. Although I am not claustrophobic I get anxious in tight spaces. 
    I recently was scanned on a new open MRI system called the Oasis, the technologist told me this is a new generation of open systems that use high field magnet strength. you can check it out here 

    posted @ Thursday, February 04, 2010 7:20 AM by Ray

    Tried to have an open MRI just today. Suspected of having multiple sclerosis that is affecting the function of my eyesight and causing optic nerve disruptions. As an English teacher, I kind of need my sight. But I just couldn't do it. I was okay until she put that coil thing around my face, then it was as if my lungs said "Well, we're done working today. YOu're gonna die in there." Logically, I know that's not true, of course, and I feel silly but I couldn't bring myself to do it. In addition, I'm post menopausal, so the heat is a factor too. I'm rescheduled for Friday, April 9 and my stepmom is going along to hold my hand, and the dr. is prescribing Valium. Still, I fear I won't be able to do it!

    posted @ Monday, April 05, 2010 10:26 PM by Mama K

    Mama K: Tell you doctor you need a sedative....preferably Ativan in an IV. Worked realy well for me. Good luck!

    posted @ Wednesday, April 07, 2010 4:42 PM by Judi

    I am scheduled for an open mri are there different open ones I don't want anything near my face.

    posted @ Thursday, April 29, 2010 6:58 PM by Lorette

    Most open MRI scanners look like the pictures above. There is a stand up MRI but very few imaging centers have them.

    posted @ Thursday, April 29, 2010 10:44 PM by Ravi Sohal

    i had a closed mri scan last tuesday for decompression of the shoulder. lying down in the tunnel was quite eerie but the noise wasnt as bad as i thought. i just meditated until i was let out. pnly pressed the panic button once as the pain in my arm was getting to me but as i only had a feww minutes to go i just gritted my teeth. the staff were very nice and i would recommend it if you had to have one

    posted @ Friday, April 30, 2010 12:27 PM by dianechitticks

    Ive had an open mri scan..nd i felt a little uncomfortable..mainly because i am claustrophobic.. but i can say that open ones is much better..

    posted @ Saturday, May 15, 2010 1:23 AM by Afeef

    I have a stage 4 macular hole in my 
    right EYE. Can this open MRI cause problems with the MRI?? 
    Is it necessary to do a scan of my head?

    posted @ Thursday, May 27, 2010 12:14 PM by Patricia L.

    Hi Patricia, 
    Not sure what your question is. Could you clarify?

    posted @ Thursday, May 27, 2010 1:17 PM by Ravi Sohal

    I tried to have a MRI today and could not have the test. I developed a bad headache after wards. I had to reschedule to have an open MRI.

    posted @ Thursday, July 01, 2010 1:16 PM by Beverly

    I had an MRI done on my upper spine on 07/12/10. The MRI machine was an older Philips model with a small tube. It felt rather confining in the tube but the tech gave me a damp washcloth to cover my eyes and earplugs. That caused sufficient sensory deprivation to get me through. Needless to say, it felt really good when they pulled me out the tube.

    posted @ Monday, July 12, 2010 7:30 PM by Fred

    I did the closed MRI, it was 20 minutes as the open is 60, went ok 
    not too bad, went alone, drove myself. my husband passed away and know that it would have been better with him there.

    posted @ Tuesday, July 13, 2010 8:05 PM by Lorette

    Had had some neck problems with numbness in the arm. Getting an OPEN MRI tomorrow night with 2 ativans ( 1 mg. each). Very clostrophic and have seen these pictures. Hope it will be okay.

    posted @ Friday, July 23, 2010 9:54 AM by Jackie

    Iam having an OPEN MRI tomorrow night and am scared to death. Will be taking two ativan after paperwork. Very clostophobic so they say this will not be bad. Please advise. Thank you.

    posted @ Friday, July 23, 2010 6:15 PM by Jackie

    I couldn't go through with my first M.R.I scan so it was rebooked for tonight. My gp has prescribed 5mg of diazepam which i took an hour ago, as yet i've had no effect from the drug and the closer my appointment gets, the more nervous i'm becoming. :-( 
    I'm claustrophobic and very scared because i now know what to expect and they can't do it without the mask over my face.

    posted @ Monday, August 16, 2010 11:33 AM by Jan

    Ihave had both mri's in the past 
    however this last one for severe headaches was in a closed machine. 
    Every thing was going good, mask in place. tech said move your head  
    a tiny bit to the right. well my positional vertigo kicked in. I grabed my daughters long hair, grabbed the tech some where and screamed let me up loudly. Do you think I could get thru an open mri. 
    I am 71 with lots of problems.

    posted @ Sunday, August 22, 2010 6:53 PM by Hazel Cason

    Give the imaging center a call and ask to lie down in the scanner before you are scheduled for your test. Many will do this for very claustrophobic patients. Good luck on your test.

    posted @ Sunday, August 22, 2010 7:17 PM by Ravi Sohal

    I had an open MRI today. I am claustrophobic from having a closed MRI years ago. I will say the open machine is better, but to me still confining.It was of my thoracic spine and the coil was wrapped around my shoulders upper arms. I didn't like tht strapped feeling but I did tolerate the whole test. I kept my eyes shut, started counting 99 bottles of beer in my mind. I was better than the closed one by far. Was concerned about hot flashes during the test as there was no fan--am post menopausal. Luckily a flash didn't happen. It is tolerable even if claustrophobic with eyes closed that is.

    posted @ Tuesday, August 31, 2010 8:08 PM by Susan


    posted @ Friday, September 17, 2010 10:36 PM by Doris

    prøvede forleden en lukket Mr-scanner, men kan IKKE ligge på ryggen, før jeg ikke kan få luft, og får frygtelig mavesyre.Var i dag igennem 1´ste del i en åben scanner, hvilket OGSÅ var rædselsfuldt, og IGEN døjede jeg med vejrtræknings-problemer og mavesyre.Skal bl.a ha scannet øverste del af ryg/nakke på fredag, og skal dermed have hovedet langt ind i scanneren, så det vil da virke som en lukket? Jeg er allerede PANISK, og kan hverken sove eller fungere. 
    Ligger ALDRIG på ryggen, da jeg så ikke kan få luft, hvad gør man?

    posted @ Wednesday, September 29, 2010 9:08 PM by susanne

    I have had several MRI's but today was really bad. It was open as shown in the pic, but could not tolerate. It was for the thorcic spine which is the middle of the back. The tech was very nice. She told me that this test is more difficult than the lumbar as the coil is wrapped around you and you can't move your arms. She said I will put you in for a minute and take you out. I have Trigeminal Neuralgia and after a recent car accident my left ear hurts and is totally clogged, so I feel like on side of my head is abnormal. I always have pain in my left side of my mouth. I asked the tech for earplugs or headphones as any loud noise sends me into a panic. She said she would bring them in a minute. I went in the machine for about 6 minutes and was pretty relaxed. However, my ear and head started to hurt, as well as my mouth. She came back and took me out on her own. Then she said you will be in there about 30 min. I asked again for the headphones. She said yes. When she brought them they were very thin, had music playing. She put them on me and they fell out of my ears. Then she tried to fix them and they weren't all the way in, they were very loose. She put me back in the machine and I started to panic. I tried to calm down, now my mouth hurt so much I was so anxious I wanted out. This was after taking 1/2 5mg valium and a whole vicodin for pain. I told her to stop the test as I was so nauseaus. She told me to go to my dr and get a sedative and try again. I have had a closed MRI last yr. The tech kept coming over touching my shoulder and talking to me. I got thru it but couldn't do this one. I still have mouth and ear pain several hrs later.

    posted @ Thursday, November 04, 2010 11:46 AM by Terri

    I had a closed MRI yesterday and could not finish it because I got panicked. Now I am scheduled for an open MRI in two weeks I hope I do better with it

    posted @ Tuesday, November 16, 2010 5:39 PM by judy

    I had an closed MRI today, it was quite a challenge. I tolerated the test but it was hard at first. My arms were above my head that was the hardest part. I closed my eyes and prayed and quoted scriptures, said poems. I think that the open MRI is best especially with someone standing next to you. The atmosphere described in this article with the outdoors affect is great. Before anyone goes, it should be explained thouroughly to them and perhaps they should take a sedative. When my patients get nervous about having an MRI, I will offer them a sedative and try to prepare them from now on. The tables are too small too. Researchers need to develop some bigger machines and a systme that is more open when you are to take the closed MRI.

    posted @ Friday, November 19, 2010 2:00 AM by Debbie Hill

    my mother needs a mri scan and is clostrophobic. We have in the past been able to have a scan using the open scanner but this time they want to try with diazepam which will be of no use at all as have tried this before. I have contacted her consultant's secretary and explained the situation and asked to go to the open scanner but have been told this will cost extra money. So far we have had no reply as to what they are going to do. My mother was surposed to have this scan with in 3 weeks of going to see her consultant it has been 6 weeks so far.They say they would have to take her into hospital overnight to sedate her so that she can have her scan and they dont do that very often. iam desperate now and fed up with fighting the system.

    posted @ Thursday, November 25, 2010 1:13 PM by anne

    I have a very large body frame 
    6'5" 385 lbs. my shoulders are too wide to fit in mri even open 
    machine is low for waist? 
    Does a mri that you stand up in have more space ??

    posted @ Monday, November 29, 2010 11:18 AM by BILL

    Stand up MRIs are fairly narrow. If there is one near you, ask to try the machine in advance.

    posted @ Thursday, December 02, 2010 3:05 PM by Ravi Sohal

    MRIs are of great medical benefit to those who must have them. Try and mentally decompress as much as possible and relax as best as possible. If your claustrophobia, ect. does not allow for a closed MRI, perhaps an open MRI is your best option. Otherwise, you are best talking with your doctor who can perhaps offer other relaxation tips.

    posted @ Monday, December 13, 2010 10:04 AM by Used MRI Equipment

    Tried to have a closed MRI for the first time. I am 52, and I could not go thru with it. Hopefully the Opensided MRI is better, but thepicture above is not very promising.

    posted @ Monday, December 27, 2010 6:31 PM by Janice

    i know what you all mean but i was in a tube and i was freaking out and it is loud to me

    posted @ Wednesday, January 05, 2011 3:35 PM by liz

    Today I had my first "open" MRI and the open part didn't matter a whit.The first MRI I ever had was 13 years ago for a head issue. I was astonished at my reaction when they put me in the tube. I was panicked out of my mind, had no idea I was claustrophobic. God bless the tech who got me through by standing with her hand on my foot after they put headphones and an eye mask on me. I toughed my way through a knee MRI and a shoulder one 3 years ago. I have a small (benign, thank God) tumor on my parotid gland in front of my ear that we discovered 8 months ago. For that MRI I had to have the whole headgear set up ...AWFUL. I made it through the first half...thought I would make it and then they put in the contrast. Viola - huge allergic reaction. I went back a couple of weeks ago for the follow up and simply couldn't do it. They scheduled me for the "open" in a new lab their company opened 45 minutes away. I drove there today . No way Jose. Tried, but no way. I rescheduled and have phoned the doc and asked for drugs as they suggested. I am a 56 year old female who has been though everything, and a stage 4 ovarian cancer survivor of 6 years as well I love my Lord and prayed my way into the first 10 minutes and then - just couldn't. I can't explain it and it bothers me. My sister will go with me next time. All you other fellow claustrophobics at least help me know I am not alone. Keep fighting the fear - we know it is all in our heads! And KEEP THOSE EYES CLOSED!!!

    posted @ Wednesday, January 05, 2011 4:24 PM by nancy

    My first MRI was a closed MRI some years ago for a knee problem. I knew then I was going to have problems as I can't stand anything close to my face and I am very claustrophobic. Currentlly have a back problem with constant pain. I went to get the MRI done but apparently even though I asked for an open MRI, I was sterotyped and the closed MRI was attempted. I was asked to lay on the table. Positioned correctly and started into the tube. I started praying and hyproventanting. I thought I would die. And then I was asked the question; are you all right in there? Needlesstosay, I did not complete the MRI. I have lived with this pain now for over a month and it is getting worst. Today I go for an "open MRI". I am very upset because I am going back to the same place I was before. It appears to me as if the office people are more concern as to if the insurance will pay and I the difference rather than about me. I have been praying and praying and I am asking my husband to go in with me. Thanks for the many comments. I must fight the fear, and I will keep my eyes closed.

    posted @ Thursday, January 13, 2011 5:39 AM by Secelia

    I just got home from an appointment for an open MRI on my knee. I couldn't do it. I started to have an anxiety attack when the table started moving me into the machine. They said it was an open MRI but it was a large circular cylinder and they had to move me into the machine up to my head. I just felt so locked in and unable to control myself. I will now have to reschedule. This is the third time I have tried to go for an MRI. The first two were closed MRI's. The second time they drugged me and woke me up to walk across the hall to the MRI! Hello! I'm awake now so I couldn't do the MRI. Worst part is, I keep getting charged for them even though they don't do anything! I'm not sure I'll ever get my knee fixed and will be in pain forever!

    posted @ Thursday, January 13, 2011 7:45 PM by Mary Anne

    I read prior posts and they had me totally freaked out. I am claustrophobic and had to have an MRI on my head. I took a very mild sedative - actually I really couldn't feel the effect of it - and I was fine. It took about half an hour, they gave me a washcloth to put over my eyes, which helped, and it was not nearly as bad as others have said. It did not feel hot at all. If you have to have this done, get a mild sedative and relax. Put something over your eyes and it is over rather quickly.

    posted @ Wednesday, January 19, 2011 8:33 PM by Laura

    I tried a closed MRI and paniced. I had to get out quick. Now I am scheduled for an Open MRI and looked at the pictures thinking this could be better. But after reading the comments on this page I don't think I could even do an Open MRI. Isn't open suppose to make you feel better? Did anyone out there have a good experience?

    posted @ Friday, January 21, 2011 6:56 PM by Jo-Ann

    i have had major panic attacks on the two occaisions they have tried to scan my neck, leading to my doctor saying he will refer me for an open scan, but just looking at the pictures and knowing they will put something over my head is already freaking me out, i can't even watch someone else have this done on tv without shaking and having nightmares. can they not just give me a general anaesthetic? my pain is getting worse but the thought of having to do this is really making me ill. very relieved though that i am not alone out there as i was made to feel very small and stupid the last time,as i had wasted their obviously valuable time.

    posted @ Tuesday, January 25, 2011 1:01 PM by marie

    Just been for my first MRI...panicked seconds in and had to stop the procedure. Now have an appointment for open MRI tomorrow but not sure that will work either without taking several Bacardis before I go in. Think a general anesthetic is about the only thing that will get me through this!

    posted @ Friday, January 28, 2011 10:10 AM by Fiona

    I KNEW IT! 
    no one inform me or my family i am goin 2 be in a EXTREME-PINCH"Type 
    Machine where i can not even breath 
    at all i feel like it anyhow,as soon as i was "sliding in"i was cool at first,but then SEEING me enter it"without any room to itch, 
    to MOVE, to BREATHE as i feel so close in i was FRIGHTEN TO DEATH. 
    i had met a VERY nice nurse lady 
    or medical some until i 2nd time attempt it again and soon as i was "having my FACE smush like 
    "with this lower"thing and just the side was all cramp TIGHT i was like NO! I LEFT,AND I TOLD HER I HAVE TO HAVE A VALIUM,STRONG! SLEEPIN PILL 
    or IV something to make me be pass out i am NOT goin to have a MRI at all done THAT TIGHT. 
    i had a CAT SCAN I BREEZE Right thru within barely 10 second! i love it. no biggie,this was from a previous accident 1992 out of high school but THIS IS TOTALLY DIFF, 
    they should have LEGALLY had up a type of disclosure"before"patient 
    go to the place,how it work so we 
    are all able to make a INFORM decision. 
    my driver even saying Hannah your right."and others are saying they just want 2 b PAID"do not CARE!~ at all bout us patients so NATURALLY they are NOT! goin to tell us your canned into the maching"close in" like a pack of tuna,or sardine! 
    i was shock,mad angry,but i will NOT! do it like this,mad just at the "attorney"suing for me from car accident,and the REFERRING medical doctor did not TELL ME how it was going 2 b,so they either get me the MRI,without a TIGHT CLOSE type big machine like that,since i am a claustophobic,or something else i am hopin'they can do. 
    i am NOT goin 2 b awake like that. 
    MAYBE at a hospital i can go to sleep while they do it,for 15 20 min neck and back that is TWO test 
    and i can't do it this way without being under sedation,and or maybe i do not need it after all. 
    i will find out.not doing this MRI this way.

    posted @ Monday, February 07, 2011 11:58 AM by Heather

    am going for an upright scan next week, no scanner on myhead and not lying down for it. costing a fortune but totally worth it, i will let you know how it goes

    posted @ Thursday, February 10, 2011 1:47 PM by Marie

    Couldn't do the closed MRI. Went for the open MRI. Felt like I couldn't do it with the top soooo close to my face. BUt I had a great person working there that worked with me. I went in on my stomach so I could look out the back since my arm had to be in the coils--but I did have to keep my arm straight for an hour. Being able to see out the back helped a lot! When they put in the contrast I wouldn't wait for the 8 minutes to be over--then it was! Done--but I hope I do not have to do it again.

    posted @ Saturday, February 12, 2011 9:13 AM by Jo-Ann

    Went today for my MRI.and i just couldnt do it.I have had a mri 8 years ago and it was fine.But this time the hospital had one of the smallest mris i have ever seen.I got all fixed and the tech started putting me in when my arms were absolutly getting tore off.I told her to stop and take me out,which she had a hard time even getting me out.I dont mind the closeness,but i couldnt even get my friggin arms and shoulders in at all.I am a short very over weight person,this could be the reason why.My arms are still very sore.Going for the open mri next week hope it works out well.If a person is 250lbs or around,a closed mri is NOT for them

    posted @ Thursday, February 17, 2011 7:30 PM by lisa milhouse

    I recently had an open M.R.I. on my right hand and wrist, My question is how do I understand the actual c.d. given to me afterwards? I know this c.d. is for my Doctor or and my records but I was told its for me and if I want I can give it to the family physician for my records if applicable. I popped it in my P.C. and have no clue as to what I am looking at even after googeling M.R.I. methods of detecting or deciphering xrays and such. Also, my experience was tolerable..although I had a migrain afterwards which is due to the stress. Don't drive if prescribed any narcotics like valium or ativan and sedatives.

    posted @ Sunday, February 20, 2011 12:04 AM by David

    The MRI is read by a doctor who has specialized in interpreting X-rays, MRI, CT, Ultrasound etc - a Radiologist. 5-7 years of training after medical school.

    posted @ Wednesday, February 23, 2011 12:08 PM by Ravi Sohal

    in three days I have an open MRI I am nervous after reading how many people had so many issues with it I am claustrophobic and have requested Valium although I believe it is not going to be enough did they decide the dosage or did the patient I have a tolerance for most drugs usually it takes twice to three times the normal dosage for me to be affected I believe Adivan is a drug I have never tried and going to request it in place of Valium

    posted @ Thursday, February 24, 2011 9:24 PM by shane

    i had an upright MRI last week and it was great,had a little wobble when i first went in but they were brilliant and the whole thing is not at all claustrophobic. you just have to keep still, but you can watch the tv or dvds that they have, recommend to all

    posted @ Friday, February 25, 2011 12:10 PM by Marie Boot

    Ravi ,Thank you very much for responding to my question and my scan came back negative!!! So generally its just a severe sprain which requires me to be careful as to my activities but to be on the safe side I wanted to go to my appointment at my orthopedics , thanks again for answering. I also wanted to comment to Shanes blog...I wouldn't rely on Ativan seeing that its the weakest of the benzodiazepeins here is the list of medicines starting with strongest to weakest 1.Zanax 2.Klonopin 3.Ativan ...But remember I am just a patient with real life experience taking all mentioned medications. Google the medications and also google methods to avoid stress during the procedure. Good luck Shane!!

    posted @ Friday, February 25, 2011 1:42 PM by David Catanzareti

    I am extremely claustrophobic and subject to panic attacks. I had an open MRI Friday, and I have to say, wasn't too bad at all. I got all nervous for nothing. It was of my knee, so my head was free from the machine. I could look out the window or around the room. The technologist talked to me and let me know how long each scan would take. Several were 3 minutes and several were 6 minutes. All together, it took about 40 minutes, but really not too bad. I could also see a digital clock/counter on the machine, and it was helpful to see it count down each scan. It did generate some heat at first, for about 2 minutes, but went away. Just remember, YOU are in control. All you have to do is call the technologist, and she will take you out. If you are worried she doesn't hear you, you can take a family member with you. They can sit in the room with you!

    posted @ Saturday, March 26, 2011 6:49 PM by Kathy

    i am sorry. i did the first MRI in my life.i hate it. i was too claustropho 
    bic,to finish. i get scare in three to five seconds.Once my head was in there i lost it,kickin'screamin as if i am still a child! lol i did get out 
    i did not return. 
    FIND out a OPEN MRI,ONE WAS Available in my local area had no clue,right at the hospital. i did it.a OPEN MRI was alot better, i can twist,scratch wen need be. i was so happy,easier,bigger, larger. 
    i was in and out within 45min.was no big deal,was not cramp,or scary 
    nothing like the horrid of taking a CLOSE MRI. 
    the MRI Pix from my car accident is 
    crystal issue. so i am now happy i did the MRI OPEN.not close. 
    The Pix quality with close mri really is the same,dr. lie to say otherwise,but my physician was telling me. THEY ARE ALL THE SAME 
    so take a MRI OPEN,if your able. 
    DO NOT LET THE GIRLS AT THE OFFICE AT THE CLOSE MRI Unit say your not able to.TRUST ME i did and i am happy and the pix were just as clear and no prob. 
    from constanza. 

    posted @ Tuesday, March 29, 2011 3:16 PM by Connie Esperanza New Jersey,40 years old

    I was told today I must have an MRI. From what I am reading an open one is not that great. I was wondering what they cost if you can find a stand up one?

    posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 11:02 PM by marje

    MRI exams "cost" the same regardless of the type of machine. Of course if you're paying out of pocket then it depends on what the cash price is. But from an insurance company's perspective the payments are the same to the facility. Stand up MRIs are far and few between. Best bet would be to google it for your local area.

    posted @ Friday, April 08, 2011 5:06 PM by Ravi Sohal

    I just got back from having my first open MRI. I was very nervous about having it done, as I can't stand being in closed spaces. When she got me all ready and moved me in the machine, I started to panic a bit, but I just closed my eyes and pretended I was somewhere else. That seemed to work out pretty well for me, but it was hard to lay there and not move, got a pain in my neck and back, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.

    posted @ Wednesday, May 04, 2011 1:08 PM by Judy

    I am scheduled for an open MRI of 
    my lumbar spine has anyone had one 
    in the open machine, I had a closed MRI years ago and cannot ever do that again. how long are 
    you in a machine is it scary?

    posted @ Tuesday, May 31, 2011 1:50 PM by Betty

    I had the open MRI on my lumbar spine, it wasn't too bad, took 30 minutes. It isn't scary like the closed machine.

    posted @ Thursday, June 02, 2011 7:21 PM by Judy

    Hi, Going for a Lumber Spine this afternoon. I am petrified . My husband went for one and was there 5 mins and my ex husband would,nt even go in there. Not looking forward to it. Let you know the outcome.

    posted @ Saturday, June 04, 2011 3:49 AM by Dawn

    well, i went in for an MRI brain scan this morning....i have low testosterone and my doctor wanted to make sure that i dont have a tumor on my pituitary gland......... 
    i got strapped in, IV in, headpiece on, was placed head-first into the machine..... 
    as soon as the nurse closed the door i knew i was in trouble.... 
    i have NEVER, EVER, EVER felt PANIC, TERROR and outright FEAR like i did this morning...... 
    i made it five minutes and was squeezing the panic button for all i was worth........drenched in sweat, shaking like a leaf and exhaused, not being able to breathe.....that was the most terrifying five minutes of my life..... 
    I (until today) never thought i was claustrophobic, panic changed all that.... 
    i am a very strong willed person, but five minutes in that tube and i was reduced to a bowl of Jell-O... 
    i will LIVE with low testosterone before i ever go back and try that again, even with valium or xanax..... 
    a totally HORRIFYING experience...... 
    never again for me....

    posted @ Wednesday, June 08, 2011 5:47 PM by BRUCE BLANTON

    bruce 1lmfao what a riot i want to say 
    to each party here. i have a car accident that the driver hit nj taxi ride i m,so i am suing,for any amount 
    i will settle lol over FIVE grand! 
    mONEY Tight these days but atty say i get at least around for six month 
    of chiropractor for my injury and 
    the OTHER driver in nj fault I GET 
    ABOUT offer usually 1st attempt by insurance company low around 10 g's 
    to 20k i tell him i will take it and this he say without CLOSE MRI  
    but if i hold out up to 30 k. 
    since after all i was not at fault 
    naturally i was driving IN the taxi 
    i dont know i just know i am scare 
    of a CLOSE MRI we try we fail lol 
    i will pay for a OPEN if atty do not. 
    in south jersey are serveral place i go to and i will pik one of them soon to get more cash i am told by atty. my accident happen last year 
    so i am schedule to take one OPEN 
    any day now,since i still have such bad pain at times. 
    good luck to all do NOT! let other 
    dr. tell u CLOSE IS NECESSARY LEGAL etc. nope a OPEN MRI is just as 
    great i m doin this for sure soon. 
    as i just want wat i am entitle to. 
    money is tight,and my accident i am entitle to i am told compensation i will take a reasonable amount naturally NOT 5 grand was only a joke there,since i know i deserve and will get more.taking MRI soon as i am still at times in alot of pain. 
    Heather NJ 
    39 y.o. 

    posted @ Thursday, June 09, 2011 6:25 PM by Heather-Marie Rothstein

    It's really unfortunate that a test that's completely painless and non-invasive, yet so beneficial, wreaks sheer terror on an invidividual's psyche. It shouldn't have to be that way at all. If more patients (ie; customers)start requesting (demanding)open MRI's instead of closed MRI's, facilities will get the message that patients don't want the closed MRI's and will replace them, or add, an open MRI to their facility. You can also contact your insurance company prior to an MRI and request they approve and cover for the same cost, an open MRI. I've had two closed MRI's and will say the facility and technician make all the difference in a closed MRI experience. My experiences were night and day. The first facility ONLY did MRI's and the room was decorated beautifully with soft lighting, birds chirping and soothing murals painted on the walls and ceiling. The technician was outstanding and had empathy towards my fears and made the experience much more tolerable. The second facility was in a large sports/occupational/rehab facility where the MRI machines were old and the room was completely sterile looking. The techicians acted robotic and offered no empapthy, as if they were counting the minutes and patients until their shift ended. Needless to say, my second closed MRI was a horrible experience and have never before experienced the fear that I encountered on that day. The technicians could have cared less as all I did was slow down their schedule for that day. I will be having another MRI soon and will request (demand) that it be an open MRI as I AM THE CUSTOMER!  

    posted @ Tuesday, June 28, 2011 12:47 PM by Dave

    I tried a closed mri today and as soon as the helmet went on,icame out.i am either m=going open or stand up

    posted @ Wednesday, September 07, 2011 7:18 PM by mike k.

    Went for an open MRI Tue. No way even having night mares. Dr wants me to try it with valume. I'm a big guy 400 lbs. My chest rubs on the top of the damed thing. Thinking Iwwon't be able to ddo it even with the drugs. If I were a smaller guy and the top diddn't touch me I think I wouldd be ok.Any large people ever maade it through? 

    posted @ Thursday, September 08, 2011 9:03 PM by Bruce

    I am scheduled for tomorrow and scared. Thanks for the great information. I am having am open MRI for first time. Had a CAT scan a few years ago and that freaked me out. Now the MRI is for my knee. Will they put coils on my neck or just on my knee?

    posted @ Sunday, October 16, 2011 9:44 AM by Char

    Had the open MRI and not as scary as closed MRI. But, took Xanax before test. I was still scared but made it through. Then they told me that I needed a bone scan. Money money.

    posted @ Friday, October 28, 2011 2:54 PM by Char

    I experienced a closed Mri for the first time 4 days ago. I am normally level headed and work in medicine have had numerous ops and procedures done in my life (40yrs), but i have to say this was the worst thing i have ever had done!!! I lasted 5 mins majour panic. I too am not skinny and felt cramped. I have an open one booked for frid and am very nervous about it, these comments arnt helping lol! Wish me luck .

    posted @ Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:23 PM by Helen

    I had an Open MRI just this morning..for my brain..and I couldn't go thru with it!! As soon as she wheeled me in, I opened my eyes and freaked out.the top was literally an inch from my face..and I felt like I was buried alive..what a horrible or closed it doesn't make a difference if it's a brain now I don't know what to do..she pulled me out three times I kept saying let's try again but then she said she had other appointments and that she didn't think even valium would help..I don't know what to do now..that was crazy!!

    posted @ Friday, December 16, 2011 3:30 PM by Kim

    I did it!! I had an open Mri a few days ago after failing having a closed one. I am glad to be able to put some good feedback on this topic as i was extremely nervous after reading these comments! It was absolutely fine! Yes the scanner is near your face but there are no sides which makes it more tolerable, my husband was able to come in and sit at the side of the scanner and hold my hand. The feeling of being trapped like it was in the closed one had completly gone in the open one. I could have stayed in there for another hour! It was my neck being examined and i am soooo proud of myself. All you people worrying, dont! Go for an open one definately think positive thoughts and take someone in with you, they even put the radio on for me. Good luck .

    posted @ Sunday, December 18, 2011 1:25 PM by helen

    I found it interesting that the ones who had mri on thier knees were totaly inside the machine. I had a mri done today on my right knee, but only my chest to my feet were inside, my head and shoulders were outside. Mabey because im 5'10. This was my forth closed mri and I found that the technition makes all the difference. If he or she is careing and contiues to talk to you let you know whats going on, Im much calmer in the tube.

    posted @ Friday, January 20, 2012 4:18 PM by Jim

    I went for a closed MRI scan on my Heart today, after 2 tries I had to stop,I am no chicken and was not worried about it at all until I was put in the scanner, it was so small and felt like I was being buried alive, I have never felt panic like it,not good for the Heart at all. I have been trying to book for a scan in an open one all day but none that I have contacted so far do them for the Heart,no way will I go back to the closed one.

    posted @ Tuesday, January 31, 2012 12:48 PM by Yvonne

    So i tried an "opening standing" MRI today, as I can not do a "closed" MRI (i panic very quickly) and while i did an "Open" mri, I lasted through it but near the end was very on edge. I thought the standing open mri would be better and, for the fact not feeling closed it, it was! 
    But, I still ran into problems and had to stop it. it was for my shoulder and they put my arm into what was a sleeve like thing, and laid me down at an angle, I have neck/shoulder/arm pain and being in that angle with my arm freely hanging I had intense pain in my neck/shoulder/arm from how i was set up. Also the heat was very bother some, why can't these rooms be cooler? lol. I lasted 20 mins and, had to stop. Standing open Mri's are very good if your scared of tight places like me, But certain things they are very discomforting, and the staff was very angered and mean to my concerns of, pain and discomfort. Going to try something to maybe relax or put me under so i don't feel the pain in my arm. Standing open mri again are awesome: but if for the shoulder i say pass lol.

    posted @ Thursday, February 09, 2012 10:47 PM by Shin

    Went in for a closed MRI on neck and upper back...chatting cheerily with the tech. Closed my eyes and foolishly opened them the moment I was slid in and felt my shoulders being hunched into my sides. I hissed, "Get me outta here.." So I lasted about 2 seconds. Will try a open one, but not sure as having bad dreams ever since...

    posted @ Sunday, February 12, 2012 12:44 PM by Gknee

    Attempted a closed MRI 24 years ago for suspected seizure problem - ended up cussing out the techs and the doctor who sent me because back then it wasn't common knowledge what the heck an MRI even was. It was a TOTAL surprise as to what it entailed when I got there. I felt like I was misled on purpose and it really caused me to have some trust problems with my doctor. 
    I was sent to one today for a hip problem, and will probably cuss out my new doctor, although the techs were wonderful. (She told me I was the MOST claustrophobic patient she ever had.) I was screaming and crying and wasn't even in all the way. <sigh>. But I'm really mad at my doc because she said this hospital had an open MRI and actually they don't any more - it broke and the idiots at the hospital replaced it with the closed kind. She knows it now because I called her office and chewed out the person who answered the phone. I know, I know, it wasn't the office staff's fault, but I was hysterical and doctors need to be a LOT more sensitive about this kind of thing. I already have PTSD from sexual assault that happened 20 years ago - I had flashbacks of the assault as I was going into the tube. I've had them all afternoon, and I'm afraid to go to sleep tonight because the nightmares will probably return. Really makes me mad that I went through this today for no reason. My doc should know what the heck she is talking about - evidently it was replaced with a closed one about 2 years ago. 
    I'm going to an open one next week about 40 miles away, and the tech today called them and told them I'm a trauma survivor. They said they would take good care of me and that my husband could hold my hand and I won't have to go that far in to get my hip. 
    My friend called a few minutes ago to see how I was doing. She had one last year and said it was one of the worst experiences of her life - she is a therapist and was pretty mad that I was sent to a closed one when I was told it was going to be an open one. I've been eating tons of chocolate all day and stuffing my face - if I drank, which I don't, i'm sure I'd be smashed by now. I just feel violated all over again - it triggered some horrible reactions.  
    I'll update with how the open one works.

    posted @ Friday, February 17, 2012 9:18 PM by Liz

    Before I had my mri/mra, I came in here to find out how others dealt with the scan. I thought, Oh crap, I'm not going to get through the test, and I really need the scan to find out my problem. I did not have a choice between a closed or open machine. I was in a the closed. An our before, I took a pill for ( I'm sorry I can't think of the name at this moment ). Anyway, I guess it worked. I remember having something put over my head because that was the portion of my body that needed assessing.I remember a voice telling me how long each phase would last, but that's pretty much the extent of my recollection. That darn pill saved me a lot of grief. The worst part was having a solution injected into my veins for the MRA. It took 4 tries to finally get a feed into a vein. Next time, I"ll drink more water, because I've never had problems with veins and needles. I just wasn't hydrated enough. Next week, I go in for the test results. I have vertigo, tinnitues, and balance problems; more pronounced by a 13 ft. fall. Anyway, I could do an MRI again.....with a sedative. Good Luck everyone. I'm sorry so many are really having to deal with claustrophobia. I know it's like being suffocating....from other situations.  
    This Too Shall Pass....remember that. :+)

    posted @ Friday, February 17, 2012 10:09 PM by Kathryn

    After reading the comments in here, I was pretty nervous about going for my MRI/MRA, failing, and then having to redo. 
    When the medical administrator asked me if I was claustrophobic, I responded with " I don't know". Because of my response, my dr. prescribed one Lorazepam, an hour before the procedure. It worked. 
    The part that bothered me some, was feeding the ( tracer type fluid ) into a vein. I didn't drink enough water before my appt. so they had troubles.They tried 4 anesthesiologist was called in and he like; easy speezy, apologized for my pain, and said for me to drink something next time.Ok, doc!! But I was stressing over nothing when it came to the 2hr scan, itself. It went smoothly. I'm sure the anxiety med was a big factor. I get my test results next week.

    posted @ Saturday, February 18, 2012 9:05 AM by Kathryn Guillaum

    I went for a closed MRI and lasted about 10 seconds before I freaked out and swore at the technicians until they let me out of that damn coffin. This would be an excellent torture technique to use on terrorists in lieu of waterboarding. Hell on earth!

    posted @ Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:24 PM by Rod

    MRI's are not that bad. I just got an open mri done a couple hours ago and it went fine. It depends where you get it done, though. I had the MRI on my lower leg so I didn't have to worry about the giant scanner thing closing down on my face, although it was pretty close. The MRI is loud, but the guy there gave me headphones so I could listen to music. It's really not that bad guys!

    posted @ Wednesday, February 29, 2012 8:45 PM by Maria

    Well, I went to the open MRI and am reporting back as promised. Yes, I could get in it, and it was definitely not as claustrophobic. The tech was quite condescending and that was irritating. I guess since she does the open MRI she sees the claustrophobic people who can't do the regular one down the hall, and we must get on her nerves. It was over my face but I could see out of either side and knew I could roll out of the darn thing at any moment if I had to. I wish I could report that I have a happy ending because I don't. 
    I have reflex seizures. No one bothered to take a medical history - all they wanted to know is if you have some sort of metal in your body. But for those of us who have these types of seizures any type of repeated flashing lights or REPEATED SOUNDS/TONES can cause a seizure. To say that the sound was loud was the understatement of the year. Evidently an open MRI is noisier than the closed kind. I had ear plugs in as well as headphones on. There was music piped into the room and I heard none of it. All I could hear was a thunderous jackhammer going on for 41/2 minutes in the same bass tone. And you guessed it - I had a seizure. I am SO SO SO SO MAD about this. I knew it would be noisy but I thought it would be bursts of sounds that would change and just be annoying. No it was a jackhammer in the same beat over and over in a deafening low tone. My husband was in the room with me, wearing the same gear and he said he thought he was going to lose his mind and was afraid this would happen to me. He is an RN and told me I did a good job trying and that it was not my fault. He is pretty mad that no patient education or even full disclosure is given to the patient. AND then the tech admitted that she has people have seizures all the time...she said, "Oh some of them even turn blue on me" and then she just laughed.  
    I am just really, really mad about this. Maybe I could have taken extra medicine this morning or maybe there is some other device I could have used to block the sound better? I don't know, but now I have two awful experiences. (The other one is related above in another post) That's enough. I'm not trying again.

    posted @ Wednesday, February 29, 2012 9:48 PM by Liz

    I wanted to add to my last post. If you NEED an MRI, just get an open one if you are claustrophobic and don't worry about seizures. MRI's don't cause seizures unless you ALREADY have reflex seizures, which to be honest are very uncommon in the first place. If you have reflex seizures caused light/sound stimulus then you should talk to your doctor about it. My doctor knew this about me and didn't take it into consideration. That's why I'm ticked off about the whole thing. The claustrophobia situation is greatly reduced by an open MRI and I would bet you would be fine. I'm just a strange case with the seizure problem so don't let my experience scare you. I got to thinking about it and I don't want you to worry about having a seizure in an MRI!!

    posted @ Thursday, March 01, 2012 10:28 AM by Liz

    I was only a little scared until I started reading these posts. Now I'm terrified! I've had two closed MRIs before. I got through them fine after taking Ativan. I'm claustrophobic and have anxiety attacks. I'm scheduled for an open MRI tomorrow on both breasts. The doctor said it will take an hour. I've had early-stage breast cancer in one breast and now have it in the other. The surgeon wants better pictures than what he would get from a mammogram or sonogram. I have no choice about having the MRI done or not. It might save my life. I just called the doctor's office and left a voicemail requesting some Ativan. For the closed MRIs I had before, I took the Ativan, took off my glasses, closed my eyes, put a washcloth over my eyes, and listened to a Motown cd. This time I will have to lie on my stomach. I'll be able to look through the bottom, but my head will still be inside the tube.

    posted @ Wednesday, March 14, 2012 12:41 PM by Mary

    Mary, I bet you will be fine in an open MRI. You can see out the sides; it isn't a tube. I have terrible claustrophobia and had it not been for the sound causing a seizure, I could have easily gotten through the open one. Did you ever hide under your bed as a kid for fun? There is more room than that, but it is the best thing I have to compare it too. You could roll out of it on your own with little effort, so you are in total control. If you can't get the Ativan in time, I bet you'll still be able to do it if the sound doesn't bother you. Good luck! Liz

    posted @ Wednesday, March 14, 2012 10:35 PM by Liz

    I had a closed MRI yesterday on my knee; which was very painful when they put my knee in the coil. But I told myself that it was only 20 minutes long. During this time I had a panic attack but to keep myself calm I kept counting backwards from a hundred. Some advice “keep calm” and before you know it the MRI will be done and over with.

    posted @ Thursday, March 15, 2012 10:23 AM by

    Thank you Helen from December 2011! I went in today for a closed MRI, knowing that I am claustrophobic, but not thinking it was really that bad! They didn't even have time to turn the machine on! I called my doctor to see if an open MRI would suffice and came to this site to be nerves were not simmered until I read Helen's comments about her closed vs. open experiences! THANK YOU!!! Check hers out and quit reading the rest - claustrophobia and panic only increases with negative stories!

    posted @ Thursday, March 15, 2012 1:00 PM by Heather

    Hi,I've been reading these various comments and am glad I decided to research this topic. I had an elevated PSA and so doc suggested prostate cancer and MRI scan.I also have a back/neck prob from arthritis, so can't lie flat on my back. When that Tube came up so close to my face I literally screamed.I'm going to try again and ask for open MRI

    posted @ Wednesday, April 11, 2012 4:08 PM by Shields

    There are new sit down and stand up MRI's that are completely open. I've Googled them here in NJ and they are now in many Radiology Groups across the state. It's a great advancement for those of us who suffer with claustrophia. I haven't tried them yet, but I have a feeling my doctor will be ordering one soon because of headaches...glad to see I'll have a choice. 
    One concern I have is that many independent Radiology Groups now have these machines, yet I don't see any in our local hospitals, which concerns me with their lag. 
    Has anyone tried the new stand up - sit down MRI's yet?

    posted @ Sunday, April 22, 2012 10:59 AM by Cathy

    I did NOT have a negative experience. For my 1st MRI, I was worried silly because of all the terrible things I heard! So -I made sure that I had something over my eyes before I went in the closed MRI, I had head phones on and listened to music, and was fine! I was aware I'd be hearing loud noises, but knew that everything would be okay. Have had a # of MRI's since then, and the same was true for each one of them. Not everyone has a terrible experience - please know that and don't let others' intensify your fears. If need be, get a sedative beforehand and do some positive talk. If you don't SEE, it makes a BIG difference ! !

    posted @ Thursday, May 03, 2012 7:50 PM by Ann

    Going today to try the sit down open one again...didn't work with xanax last week; got valium for today. saying prayers. even though it's open, they have to put a helmet on my head to the shoulders and lock it on. i coulnd't do it last week. saying prayers now that i can get through this one. scared. (of nothing but panic.) feels silly to be so scared but when you can't breathe and the panic hits, its horrible!

    posted @ Monday, May 21, 2012 10:39 AM by Suzy

    I have just got home from an open MRI of my head to investigate my tinnitus. Even though I can be a bit 'nervy', I wasn't very concerned because the pictures here didn't look too bad. I used the earplugs offered, and just closed my eyes as they put the coil over my head and kept them closed. I was told it would take 40 mins, but in fact it only took 20 because I kept still. The only discomfort I had was slight neck and lower back pain from lying flat on my back, and I got a bit cold - probably because I am quite thin. The noise was nothing like as bad as I expected - thanks to the earplugs, so use them if offered. I forgot to ask if swallowing affected the process, and had to swallow a few times while I was in there because of lying on my back - but it was OK, it didn't cause any problem. So DON'T WORRY, it's not bad, and the stiller you can lie, the quicker it is over. Reading these comments made me wonder whether I would be OK, and it was thinking about what OTHER PEOPLE had experienced that gave me the worst feelings - not the actual MRI process itself. And the staff were lovely friendly people too.

    posted @ Thursday, June 14, 2012 1:14 PM by Rose

    had brain mri 12 years ago, didn't realise i was claustrophobic until then, rhey gave me prism glasses and i managed to get through it, just, was shaking like a leaf afterwards. 2 years later had to have 2 lower spine mri, son came with me and was stroking my hair, just about coped. when i had to have full spine 5 years ago,i panicked, considered paying £1,000 for open mri but was told result may not be clear enough and may still need closed mri. I decided that if i got through closed one I would use the £1,000 for a cruise. I went to see a hypnotherapist to see if there was an event in my childhood that had caused claustrophobia, didn't find anything out, but talked about relaxation. Decided to try aversion therapy. I brought up a pic of scanner on line, couldn't even look at it, shakey, cryingetc. But I persevered, it took a while, but gradually was able to look at pics without being a crying wreck. Next step,went to local sunbed salon, (my friend worked there) and asked if I could lie in a sunbed. Got in, my friend lowered the lid a little, 10 minutes later closed it more so that I was in a similar space to scanner, managed another 10 minutes. The next day a bit longer until 3 visits later, I managed 40 minutes! I went for my scan, still apprehensive, (had a large vodks on the way)I took a cd, got in the scanner and started to visualise the cruise I eould go on if I got through it, after 5 minuted I was almost laughing, what had I been so worried about, I was fine, the scan lasted an hour!. Last month had to have brain mri, wasn't in a state, but dreaded the helmet being put on, but it had a prism mirror in it and I was fine. I've just come back from another full spine, 45 minutes this time and I was absolutely fine. I have finally overcome try visualisation, then pics, a little at a time, confined space if you can, promise yourself a treat if you get through it, and visualise the treat whilst inside the scanner. GOOD LUCK TO ALL YOU CLAUSTROPHOBICS, AND IF I CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU!

    posted @ Wednesday, June 20, 2012 8:51 AM by scarlett

    I had open MRI last week on lumbar area and was perfectly fine because the machine was not over my face. Yesterday had an open MRI for neck and discovered I'm claustrophobic. When u are strapped into the head coil and the machine is put an inch from your face, there is NO open feeling about an open MRI. You cannot see anything except machine an inch from your face. I could not do the test. I needed out immediately!

    posted @ Friday, July 06, 2012 7:47 AM by Teachshawn

    I am anxious about things like this and don't even like theme park rides any more. I did an open MRI last week because of rapid onset pulsatile tinnitus. If I can do it, anyone can. I took a small dose of Klonapine a couple of hours before. The trick was to have them put a washcloth over my eyes and not try to peek. During the break for contrast, I kept still with eyes closed and the washcloth in place. I also had my parents with me and my mom held my hand, which was comforting. My test was about 45 minutes. Put the washcloth in place as soon as on the table so you don't see what's going on. I also had them play some music I like (Michael W. Smith) and they blew a fan on me. The anticipation of the test may have been worse thn the test.

    posted @ Saturday, July 14, 2012 2:06 PM by S.H.

    Have attempted an MRI 3 times and have been unable to go through with procedure. I have hip issues and was curious if your whole body must pass thru machine or can scan be performed on only lower body,avoiding head passing thru tunnel of machine?

    posted @ Monday, July 23, 2012 10:32 AM by Ricardo Patino

    I have just been for a brain MRI scan this morning on an open scanner. It wasn't the nicest thing in the world but I was ok. The doctor recommended I go to the clinic with the open scanner as although I haven't got a history of claustrophobia, my symptoms recently (if not attributed to a brain problem) could indicate stress and anxiety so he felt it better to use the open scanner. I was actually ok until yesterday until I started to read some of the comments on this website and then got a bit nervous. I went to a private clinic in Spain so there was the added problem of language but with my limited Spanish and the technician's English we understood each other although it meant it wasn't really explained to me what would exactly happen. He told me the scan would be 25 mins which wasn't as long as I expected. I didn't have any sedatives or anything before I went in. I had to wear some thick paper pyjamas - I couldn't wear my bra under them because it was underwired but the pyjamas were loose and comfortable so didn't feel self-conscious or anything. I got on the table which was very comfortable and the technician put a big beanbag pillow thing under my knees to make it even ore comfortable. When he started to put the cage thing round my head I just closed my eyes and he started to slide me under the machine> He then pulled me out and took off the mask as he had to reboot the computer!! I then went back under a few minutes later - he told me there would be loudish noises but didn't offer any earplugs. When the machine started I felt anxious for the first minute or so but mainly because my eyelids were twitching (might be a good idea not to wear make-up - are there metallic pigments in eyeshadow and mascara???). That stopped after a minute or so and I relaxed a bit more and just tried to daydream about the beach and decorating the house etc. I'd had my eyes closed up until now and wasn't sure whether to open them but just felt I had to blink (might be better with soft eye-mask). When I opened my eyes I didn't really feel claustrophobic - I could look downwards to my legs and feet (which were not covered by the machine)and it didn't feel overly close like I was trapped or anything. I felt that if I'd really had to I could have slithered out the full thing if I'd really panicked but the technician had said just put my hand up if I wanted to stop and he would come straight in. I could here the technicians chatting away in the next room in the background which reassured me they weren't far away. The noises were a bit weird and varied - sometimes sounded like a pneumatic drill - this went on for a while and I just tried to blank it out and carry on daydreaming. If you let the noise wind you up then I think you would need to get out of there but with earplugs it would have been fine. Sometimes sounded like someone knocking at the door, other times like a horse clip-clopping but overall nothing extremely uncomfortable or particularly metallic - more like dull thuds and bangs (but nothing that startles you). The tech came in 2 mins before the end and put a heart rate monitor thing on my finger and told me at that point it was only 2 mins left - it went a bit quicker than I expected. He then came and pulled me out and took the mask off - he said my heart rate was quite high (even though I thought I was doing a good job to calm my breathing!). Overall it was bearable and although I hope I don't need another, I feel like I could do it again without being too nervous. I got the impression from the clinic's website that they had the most recent up to date equipment (and the referring doctor had also told me that), and it was also private (as we have a comprehensive health insurance policy in Spain) so I'm not sure if all equipment would the same or as quick. If you are just having e.g. a knee or elbos scan or something these machines are great because the room would be open above you. The worst part is now waiting for the results, which I'm assured should only be tomorrow or at the latest the day after.

    posted @ Wednesday, August 08, 2012 10:00 AM by Laura

    I can understand how those suffering from claustrophobia struggle, but that wasn't my problem, nor am I obese to the extent that was an issue. Why don't they make these things big enough for normal fit healthy "rugby players" and of like build?  
    I simply couldn't get my shoulders into a 60cm wide closed scanner that then narrowed further when you allow for the block (coil?) over my shoulder. It's merely five weeks since my shoulder dislocation and rotator cuff damage. My shoulders naturally measure 58cms. I was in terrible pain. Now I am sore, but was on the mend until I was squeezed into that infernal machine. Now waiting to go into a bigger 70cms 'open' machine.

    posted @ Monday, December 10, 2012 1:12 AM by Philip Wolski

    any one who have problen going into an MRI machine [tunnel shape]should try an open air MRI machines,t is a cool machine round shape with side view left and right, nomore feeling that u running out of air. it happen to me and everything went well

    posted @ Wednesday, January 30, 2013 2:13 PM by samuel

    People who whine about MRI scanners make me sick. Consider all the people in the world who do not have access to such fantastic technology.

    posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 8:05 AM by Davey Smith

    Iam going for a open mri of the brain on march the 8th, have had a closed one before, but it took 2 times cause i couldn't take it, this time they are going to put me in a open one, and i'm still not convinced about it, any thoughts on it and is it tolerable?

    posted @ Friday, March 01, 2013 9:00 PM by Mary Jane

    just go to a open mri machine, is safe and it's non claustrophobic cause u can see to the side left or right 

    posted @ Monday, March 04, 2013 9:30 PM by sam

    went for an open MRI, and still could not do it. was not in there 5 seconds, and had to be let out. Nothing will get me to go back.

    posted @ Friday, March 22, 2013 10:04 PM by george

    I went for my 2nd open MRI this afternoon, and just like the first one (10 years ago), I was unable to last 5 minutes. It's something about that machine coming down and stopping 6 inches from my face, that sent me into retreat. I was fine up until I started sliding under the machine. Once under the machine I immediately started sweating, my heart rate picked up dramatically, and I started shake. It’s been 11 hours since I stopped the procedure and my heart beat still feels fast. In my rational mind, I know and understand that I will be fine. I even understand on some level that I am capable of overcoming my anxiety, but something kept telling me I needed to get out, get out and stay out. I've been scared before in my life, and I’ve been nervous, just like most people, it’s natural; but I've never felt that kind of fear or anxiety before, that comes over me when I’m passed under that machine. I don't have problems being in small rooms, elevators, phone booths or anything like that, but if I have to get under a car to work or slide under that open MRI machine, it's all I can do to stay there for 5 minutes. Does anyone here know if what I'm describing is traditional claustrophobia or is it something else? I've been rescheduled for 2 weeks from now; the good news is they will be putting me to sleep in order to get the procedure done. I appreciate any responses to my post.

    posted @ Saturday, April 06, 2013 3:35 AM by Al

    Do you have to have the head coil on for a stand up MRI?

    posted @ Friday, May 03, 2013 5:17 PM by liz

    Davey, you are an idiot. Not everyone is the same.

    posted @ Wednesday, May 08, 2013 9:05 AM by Sandy D.

    I have tried a closed MRI three times in the past three weeks. No way, couldn't do it. I am going for an open MRI tomorrow. Praying I can get through it.

    posted @ Wednesday, May 08, 2013 9:06 AM by Sandy D.

    Went for an closed MRI today. Secondone in about 3 months. Hate them! they are awful, but I thought if I don't do this (it takes about 25 mins) then I will have no resolution to my pain. I just kept thinking " half an hour" and you'll be out". It worked, I kept teeling myself, 'relax', and I made it. Now I just hope it shows my problem!

    posted @ Thursday, June 20, 2013 6:52 PM by Sharon

    My doctor has made an appointment with a consultant and asked for me to be given an MRI scan on my brain. There is a waiting list of more than one YEAR to see the cnsultant (here in U.K.) and that's before I get the scan. I am not sleeping well since I saw the Doc. 3 weeks ago (just lying there imagining being in this thing people refer to as a coffin, and if I go on like this until I get the appointment I'll need a shrink just from lack of sleep and fear kicking in. 
    I'm going to see my Doc again and ask if I can have an open scan instead. There are none anywhere near where I live but I'd rather make a long train journey and have to stay in a hotel overnight than be put in that tube. Davey, who thinks we are all wimps, should be shot. (Metaphorically of course). He has no idea how others feel and should keep that unkind opinion to himself. I am very glad that we have this technology but we are not all the same and most people have fears of one kind or another.

    posted @ Sunday, August 04, 2013 11:19 AM by Peggy

    Had what they called an open MRI last week of the brain. Told them beforehand I was claustrophobic as I couldn't do a liver MRI years before. SHEER PANIC. This time tech gets me on table, straps the Hannibal Lecter mask over my face and that was it. I asked was there a way to give me more room, and she just kept repeating this is how it's done. I tell her this hardly seems like an open MRI. Washcloth over the eyes? No doesn't help. So I vowed to keep my eyes closed. Made it 8 minutes, sound was torture to my sound sensitive ear, sweated beyond belief and then asked to stop. I was nauseous, told her so, she hands me a kleenex for my vomit, I asked for a trash can, she tells me the bathroom is right outside. I could barely sit up!! Tech seemed very detached. Asked if I wanted meds, well yes! but not to do this, maybe to stop freaking out. Felt like a zero and my Dr still wants a tests done. Waste of time, and I have to question what they define as an OPEN MRI.

    posted @ Monday, September 30, 2013 8:21 AM by WILDBUNNY

    I am so sorry to hear that Wildbunny had such a bad experience. I have now had my open scan and it was a fantastic experience. I was there for 50 minutes and it did not seem anything like so long. It was done in 5 stages with less than a minute break between each, long enough to have a cough and re-adjust my lower back. The radioloist informed me how long each section would take each time we had that short break. My back ached a lot when I got up but nothing worse than that. It was not claustrophobic at all and I could see that it would not be as soon as I was shown into the room. The two staff involved were so caring and understanding. I think mine was the most modern open scanner and the clinic was closer to my home than I thought I'd find one - about 40 miles. 
    The workings of my scanner were further away from my face than I expected and the coil placed over my head was also further away from me than I expected. To refer to this as a Hannibal Lector mask frightens those who are still awaiting their scan. A friend of mine likened hers to that also and that made me feel worse than I already felt.  
    If I ever need another I'll opt to go private again - to the same clinic. I waited just a week after my consultant contacted the private clinic for me. 
    There is a tremendously long waiting list on the N.H.S for the few open scanners here but I think I had the best of the best. 
    Wildbunny, it seems as if you were treated very badly by a very insensitive member of staff who should be reported. Please check your options where you are and find out if they have a truly modern OPEN scanner. The noise of these is far lower also and no earplugs were required. Don't avoid the test as your health requires results and help. I DO know how you feel, I lost much sleep prior to deciding to take this route and that, alone, was making me feel very ill.

    posted @ Tuesday, October 01, 2013 2:36 AM by Peggy

    Went for a closed mri scan of my neck tonight, was dreading it all day, then thought it cant be that bad on advice from the wife and friends was told to close my eyes and think of anything to distract me 
    I was put on the bed and raised into the tube, lasted about 8 seconds and pushed the button to get me out, the nurse was very understanding and tried to persuade me that she would be there and all was well, I bit the bullet and gave it another go, I didn't even last 8 seconds get me out get me out, which she did, I was terrified, I am a fairly big man six foot one and fifteen stone my arms were against the inside of the machine I had a neck brace on and earphones it was dreadful, the one saving grace was the nurse said that one third of patients pull out every day, and most of them are men, I am supposed to be going to an open mri scanner 150 miles away before the weekend, anybody any advice for me 

    posted @ Tuesday, November 12, 2013 6:17 PM by Derek

    Went for an open mri of my left ankle this morning. It was an open mri, and I had no problem. If I would have had to put my head in, I probably could not have done it. I had a knee mri in a closed machine a few years ago. I also got through it, but againm my head and shoulders were out. To for the open one.

    posted @ Friday, March 14, 2014 4:00 PM by Gloria

    Why do they have to create these scanning machines so big. They are intimating. For a while there the breast scanning were small, & nice, than they started to build them larger again. If they want people to relax under possible health conditions, than create machines that don't terrorize their patience. Mark my words, patients will quit participating under those conditions, than more people will live or die, rather than facing something horrible, even if it is only thirty minutes or a little long. Machines in their faces, coils wrapped around them Feeling like your buried in a coffin alive. What! is that. No! amount of someone talking to you is going to do much good. I have had one MRI for my knee will never ever go back! for nothing. My husband has had the closed & open MRI, he will never go back, ever! What! is the medical field coming too, when they scare their patience, Men & women, when they want out of machines, that are suppose to help them. When you have strong male figtures, collapsing because of a machine, that's bad, don't you think. Some of these Techs, who show no empathy for their patience, need to be fired. The patients concerns are first. My Tech left me, & I couldn't get hold of her when I called out, than she was irritated when I needed her.Do, I need to say more.

    posted @ Sunday, May 04, 2014 3:18 AM by Joyce Shatzley

    I understand that many people have problems with a MRI machine. But I want to assure people that there are ways to get through it comfortably. -- Over the last 20 years I have probably had 8 - 10 MRI's and each one has been easier than the one before. 
    Once on the table I immediately close my eyes and I do not open them until the test is over. Knowing the tube is right in front of your head is far less "real" than opening your eyes and seeing it. 
    I immediately go to my "happy place" -- the same place I go to at the dentist or when I am having blood drawn, etc. It might help if people who think they might freak out develop the idea of a "happy place" and practice "going there". Mine is a Carribean beach with blue skies and puffy clouds. The water is translucent azure blue and the area smells like salt water and sun tan lotion. 
    Without too much effort I can transport my brain to that scene and block out whatever is happening at the moment. 
    But the best part about being in a "happy place" is that you are so relaxed that you will fall asleep; the repetative sound of the MRI becomes hypnotic and you just give in to the sound. 
    I have learned to do all these things and I have gone from fearing an MRI to actually looking forward to the hypnosis and dreaming. 
    Many people who think they cannot handle the test, need to get mentally prepared so it becomes a pleasurable experience. If you think you can't then you have "failed" before you start. 
    I understand that there are people with severe anxiety disorders and they will need medication. But a lot of peoplewho think they will freak out, can overcome the anxiety if they go into the test in the right frame of mind. 

    posted @ Saturday, June 14, 2014 1:27 PM by PHM

    I totally understand the worrisome sentiments posted on this blog. I, too, suffer from being claustrophobic. Over the years I've had to take quite a few MRI's. I've had open and closed, the former is much better than the latter choice; however, even the open type seem, somewhat, confining. I know all of our collective fears/anxieties are only brought on by our irrational fears...our minds perceiving a threat that we all know isn't real, and yet, our mind plays dirty little tricks on our psychs. Like the old adage infers: those things...those fears usually aren't as big as they seem; those giants in the closet, as a child, seems so big, and yet, as adults they seem, in many cases, not so big or as menacing at all. I find it best to face my fears head-on. Through my many years I have had to face many things that required courage; I, through much prayer, was able to overcome those many fears that seem to sap one's mental strength. So, to the point: I've have in the past (also the coming week) an open MRI for the brain, and it was much better than the closed ones. It was something about being vertical and seated, as opposed to being horizontal, that made all the difference. Although, I had the cage around my head and the walls about me were only eighteen inches (a tight fit), I still found it quite tolerable; also, they played a comedy movie which helped to take the focus of the perceived fears at being so confined. I breezed right through it; and, I'm sure, God willing, my next MRI, of the head, will be the same. So, try not to be fearful, and face those unwarranted fears...and, most of all those giants in the closet who aren't as big as you think they are; in fact, I would like to think they are more afraid of you than you're of them. So, go get those MRI's, they should, at least, alleviate some of those fears that one may harbor about their health concerns. Well, God bless...and, be not so afraid, for I/someone can do all things, through Christ, who strengthens me.

    posted @ Sunday, June 22, 2014 10:54 AM by Steve Branson

    steve you are the most patronizing idiot to have blogged. we are not all the same

    posted @ Sunday, June 22, 2014 2:24 PM by marie

    I had two accidents where my head was involved the week of July 7th. 
    I just went for an open MRI of the Brain at Main 
    Street Radiology in Queens, NY. I would not exactly call it "Open". 
    It was open in the back of the tube, however I was encased with a plastic mask over my face and the plastic from the tube which was over the mask. The procedure was  
    suppose to 1/2 an hour. However it was only 18 minutes. It felt like forever in that tube. The technician gave me a round pump to press incase I need to get out of the tube. As soon as he put me into the tube this past Saturday July 19th, I started to panic. My heart was beating so fast, I thought it was going to come out of my chest. I started to calm myself down. I started thinking that I can do this and that I should not press that pump! I closed my eyes off and on. That helped a little bit too. I found that calming myself down really helped me get thru it.  
    I had felt the cold air on my feet and legs which helped me also feel better. The only parts of me that was covered in the tube was from my head to my legs. After the 
    technician helped me out of the  
    tube, he had told me that I did great. I have to for another MRI which is my stomach. I had a Laparoscopy (removal of my ovaries with a benign mass) on Dec. 17, 2013. That was 7 months ago. I am still having pain from the scar tissue. I had a catscan done Apr. 11, 2014 on my abdomen (stomach). 
    Nothing showed up on there. I found out about from my ear doctor. Supposedly I can have an MRI without anything on or near my face. I am sending the forms from their website to my gastroenterologist this week. I hope I can get an appointment with Standup-mri this week or next week. Thank you.

    posted @ Monday, July 21, 2014 1:17 PM by Deborah Kaplan

    I went for an open NOT today, I had the same closed in feelings as I had with the closed machine. Didn't even last a minute, just had to get out. This was no better then the closed, I would need to go to sleep for this.

    posted @ Monday, August 04, 2014 5:11 PM by susan

    I have managed both open and closed mires by imagining that I was in a capsule specially built to withstand ocean pressures, the knocking the sound of of ever increasing dept, and soon I will be setting my eyes on portions of the or the ocean our nest scientist have only guessed at at and we have had heard whales sing tale of inter haunting songs that we have only recently realized that they hey these songs travels travel as far in terms of depth as they due in terms of surface miles. It nearly puts me to sleep with nary a drug or it put leaves me in that dream state where you aren't quite asleep, where, forgive then, the world is your oyster. My only point is that although it is sickness and challenges that bring us to these places, we still have innate resources; 

    posted @ Friday, September 05, 2014 7:57 AM by loc

    I had two MRA and I am very clausaphobic. The first one I was given Valium and a wonderful tech stood beside me the whole time holding my hand. I could even feel her agaist my leg. I made it thru okay. Was afaid but was able to stand it. The second one was much worse. First I had this cold unfeeling male tell me I would be okay since I did it once before. This time I had no meds. Going in he was very rough, didn't talk to me just pushed and shoved. It seemed like the coil over my head was smaller and I don't remember a coil over my neck This one was so tight I thought I wouldn't be able to breathe. There was someone touching my hand for a few seconds then gone.Then it began and I totally freaked out. They gave me no panic button, I felt like I was hyperventilating and that some was sitting on my chest. That was the longest 20 minutes of my life. When I got out I had chest pain and all I could think of was to get out of there to the dressing room to get my nitro. I have had 3 heart attacks and have 6 shents in my heart. After I dressed and the pain lessen a little I went out to tell someone that I was in trouble but they all had left. It was about 4:30 or so by then. Never be their last patient. I had to take another nitro and then find a place to sit for awhile that had some people around before I could drive myself home. Now it seems the Dr. wants me to have another in a few months. I have plaque in my carotids. I told him GOOD LUCK!! I am not doing that. Fortunitly a friend of mine reported this to the hospital and they have contacted me. He said he would personally arrange my next one at their clinic on the other side of town that is a open scanner. I will not do it unless they give me drugs and someone stands there with me. Do you know how awful it is to have serious chest pain and no one around. or cares? It was as bad as the test itself. I am no wimp, I have worked in a hospital all my life. I am a Registered Med Tech and Histotech. I have worked in the past in that hospital, was born there and had three babies there. Was especially upset at the treatment as I have always had a strong feeling for this hospital. Since reading some of the other posts I am not sure the open one will help me either. Some years ago I had a MRI on my knee and they were wonderful to me. I made it with no problems. they talked to me every little while, but then my head wasn"t in it.

    posted @ Wednesday, September 24, 2014 10:02 PM by Shirley

    I went to open MRI today, not really open could not WASHINGTON OPEN MRO called them they have sit down ones with the things on the side not over my head

    posted @ Thursday, December 04, 2014 4:15 PM by judy ryan

    Were is the bigest open MRI scan in pa

    posted @ Thursday, January 29, 2015 10:13 PM by David

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