Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has given doctors a better view of internal organs and made improvements in diagnosis of many conditions, from cancer to dementia. Musculoskeletal conditions and much more can be diagnosed earlier and because of that can be treated more effectively. But MRIs can be tough for some patients. Fortunately, wide bore MRI can be a solution.
What’s wide bore MRI?
Traditional MRI machines involve a small magnetic tube, typically providing a space just about 24″ wide. The person having images made will lie inside the tube. The magnets send radio waves into the body and the waves are reflected back, carrying images of the internal organs and structures.
A wide bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine operates in the same way, but has a larger space, usually about 28″. The patient is less tightly enclosed in the machine.
At MANA Imaging, the wide bore MRI machine is a 3 Tesla, or 3T machine, meaning that it produces very high quality images. An open MRI machine will typically produce images which are less clear, and it may not be able to produce scans of some parts of the body.
When is a wide bore MRI the best choice?
There are situations in which a wide bore MRI is the best possible choice.
- Some people feel claustrophobic and anxious. While only 2 to 14% of people who have an MRI actually experience claustrophobia severe enough to prevent completion of the scan, many people worry that they will be frightened. A wide bore MRI does not put people into as small a space as a traditional MRI machine. The extra space, especially around the head, can make a big difference to the level of comfort patients experience.
- Obese or otherwise large people may have trouble fitting into a traditional enclosed MRI. The extra head room in a wide-bore MRI can be more accommodating for very tall people in particular.
- A wide-bore MRI may have a higher weight limit.
- Some disabilities may make it difficult to use an MRI. A wide-bore MRI may be more accommodating.
- Children may feel more comfortable in the larger space, helping them to avoid a panicked reaction.
- This type of machine can be quieter than a regular MRI machine. Some people find that the noise level of an MRI is alarming, and may be more comfortable with the more spacious experience of a wide bore machine.
Are there any negatives?
While an open MRI machine may be less accurate and clear in its images than a traditional MRI, the 3T wide bore machines produce excellent, clear images. There are no drawbacks to using this type of machine.
Talk with your doctor about your options. MANA Imaging & MRI has highly skilled technicians who can work with you to arrange for the best experience.