What to Expect from Your Open MRI Scan

doctor explains MRI procedure to patientOpen MRI machines are designed to offer patients as much comfort as possible while still delivering accurate readings. However, the best way to make a procedure more comfortable is to learn what to expect.

A Different Design

You’ve likely seen traditional MRI machines on TV or perhaps even been scanned by one in the past. They look like large tubes; the patient is instructed to remain still as they slide inside and the machine makes loud noises around them.

Open MRIs are different. Rather than going inside a closed tube, the patient lays down in an open enclosure. This set up is great for larger patients who do not fit easily into traditional MRI. Likewise, it’s ideal for patients who become anxious in tight spaces or need additional supervision during the process.

Getting Your MRI

During the procedure, you will rest on a cushioned table. This table slides into the open MRI machine’s large opening, leaving plenty of space around you. You will not be closed in at any point; there is always airflow and a clear line of sight available. The lab staff will monitor you throughout the examination and communicate with you through a speaker system. Depending on your needs, the MRI will likely take between 20 to 50 minutes.

What You Need to Know About Strokes

portrait of thoughtful middle aged man outdoorsDo you know enough about strokes to recognize the symptoms – and potentially save a life? May is Stroke Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to learn more. The first thing you need to understand is that strokes are serious; they are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and often leave survivors disabled.

There are two types of strokes, both of which can be seen with an open MRI machine. The first and more common version is an ischemic stroke, which occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain. The second version is a hemorrhagic stroke, which is when a blood vessel breaks and bleeds into the brain. To prevent irreversible brain damage and death, it’s crucial to act fast when you suspect you or someone else is experiencing a stroke.

Learn These Stroke Symptoms

  • Watch out for these warning signs:
  • Sudden Numbness/Weakness in the Face or Limbs (Especially on One Side)
  • Sudden Confusion or Difficulty with Language
  • Sudden Difficulty Seeing
  • Sudden Dizziness, Loss of Balance, or Difficulty Walking
  • Sudden Severe Headache with No Known Cause

When you notice one or more of these red flags, don’t wait for the symptoms to get worse or go away. Call 911 right away – you may save a life.