Benefits of Using A Westchester MRI
Having an MRI scan is usually a discomforting thought for a lot of people. The idea of being stuck in a narrow tube-like enclosure for an hour or more can be scary. For many years closed MRI scans have been the standard method, and understandably so as they produce a clearer image of body organs. A lot of patients, however, are claustrophobic and cannot stand to remain in a closed MRI machine for long periods. As a result, many imaging centers are gradually introducing open MRI systems.
What is an Open MRI system?
Just as the name suggests, an open system uses a large ring that patients go through during the scan. With an open unit, patients do not have to be completely enveloped in tight space and experience claustrophobia.
Benefits of using an Open MRI System
1.) Increased Patient Comfort: Perhaps the number one benefit of using an open Westchester MRI is an increase in the comfort level of patients during the scan.
A lot of patients describe being stuck in a narrow bore 60cm wide MRI machine as a feeling of being buried alive. In fact, a lot of people do not experience claustrophobia until their first MRI scan. Besides, patients who are overweight might not be able to fit into a narrow bore MRI machine comfortably. All these can make for a very uncomfortable experience.
With an open system, there are two or three open sides in the MRI machine. As a result, patients are free to look around, watch TV, or remain with friends and family during a scan.
2.) Good Image Quality: While comfort is ideal, the purpose of an MRI scan is not to keep you comfortable but rather to examine the body tissue and come up with a diagnosis. Radiologists and doctors need a high-quality image to be able to do this properly.
The fact is closed MRI offer a better image quality. That said, if you do not need a deep tissue scan, then the lower resolution of an open MRI won’t be a problem. An open MRI unit is sufficient for head exams, heart exams, spinal exams, pelvic exams, abdominal exams, and chest exams. It can be used to detect an aneurysm, torn blood vessel, a tumor, an infection, and nerve injuries.
The open design also allows for critical parts of the body to be scanned without leading to too much discomfort.
3.) Reduced Costs: The final major advantage of an open Westchester MRI is the cost reduction.
An open unit has a lower upfront and maintenance cost mainly because it uses a cryogen-free design and permanent magnets. An open system also requires less operating workforce and service costs. At the end of the day centers using an open system may end up saving 40-50% of the cost compared to those using a closed system.
Several imaging centers now offer an open Westchester MRI. Depending on the factors involved patients should decide based on the recommendations of their physician.