Open MRI for Maximum Patient Comfort
What is an Open MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging exam that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to collect detailed information about the organs and tissues of the body. MRI does not use x-ray or radiation.
Open MRI is used to accommodate claustrophobic, obese and pediatric patients. Conventional MRI scanners are a cylinder shape, while an open MRI does not completely surround your body. It is usually open on two or three sides. An Open MRI provides a more relaxed, less confining environment and lower noise levels making it less stressful for you.
Our Open MRI Locations in the Atlanta area
1944 Clairmont Rd, Decatur, GA, United States
900 Eagles Landing Pkwy, Stockbridge, GA, United States
Open MRI for Spine and Joint
MRI scans are most commonly used to examine the following:
How should I prepare for my MRI exam?
- Please follow any instructions given by your healthcare provider.
- MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to make detailed pictures
- Wear comfortable clothes without metal fasteners, including zippers, buttons and snaps.
- Please let us know if you have an insulin pump or glucose monitor. Our imaging machines may cause your device to malfunction, so it will need to be removed during your exam.
Meet Our Team
“I have tried other spine centers in Atlanta, however none of them made me feel more comfortable and explained every step as well as Allspine.”
“When I first cam to see Dr. Rezaiamiri my arm pain was debilitating. Dr. Rezaiamiri and his assistant spend the time to explain my diagnosis and treatment options. After the surgery my arm pain is completely gone. I tell everyone to go to AllSpine first!”
MRI’s Near Me
MRI machines are an important part of diagnosing spinal disorders, back problems and the source of neck pain. The imaging used gives your doctor important information on what’s happening to cause you pain, and what the best treatment plan should be. Many times you may have to go to an alternate facility to get an MRI done, but at AllSpine Laser and Surgery Center we have in house Open MRI machines ready so you can have your comprehensive spinal care taken care of in one place, without having to run around looking for different MRI providers around town.
How does an MRI work
The way the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) works is through the powerful magnets within the machine. They create strong magnetic fields which make the protons found in water of your living tissues to align with the field created by the MRI machine. A radiofrequency is pulsed through the patient and the protons are stimulated which goes against the magnetic field generated by the machine. When the radiofrequency ceases the MRI sensors can detect the energy released by the protons realigning with the magnetic field. Different types of body tissues are noticeable in the image due to the time it takes the protons to realign and the energy released by those protons.
Open MRI vs Closed MRI
Closed MRI is a circular device that encapsulates the area being scanned during the scan. The magnets are found in the circular area, while in an Open MRI system the magnets are opposite each other on the top and the bottom of the machine in an open fashion. The closed MRI is much more noisy than an open MRI and are helpful to those who are physically disabled, or have difficulty moving onto a closed MRI bed. The open MRI is a more advanced system as well, being a newer innovation of medical technology it has several new developments, such as permanent magnets and cryogen-free design, that cause the cost to be less than the old closed MRI systems.
How is Magnetic Resonance Imaging performed?
MRIs are generally outpatient, as you can go home the same day after the scan is complete. The first step is checking with the radiologist to ensure you have no metallic implants, or metal on your clothing, and if so you’ll need to change into a hospital gown. After this you will be positioned on the MRI table, and straps can be used to help the location being scanned to remain still. Staying still is important during the image being taken, otherwise the image can come out blurry and the scan will need to be repeated. Many scans may be done in one run, each of which can last a few seconds or a few minutes.
What does an MRI show
After all the complicated scientific stuff is done, the result is a three dimensional detailed anatomical image, which is very helpful in diagnosing anything that may be wrong internally. They are great at showing soft tissues of the body, and the brain, spinal cord, and nerves are seen very clearly with an MRI machine compared to an X-Ray or CT scan. It’s useful in diagnosing aneurysms and tumors as well, and because it doesn’t use radiation it’s great for when multiple imaging sessions are needed.
How long does an MRI take?
An open MRI scan can take as little as 15 minutes and up to an hour, depending on which part of the body needs to be imaged and whether or not contrast is used in the MRI. It will also depend on whether or not multiple exams are being done, since that will have additional time constraints. The MRI technician operating the machine will be able to tell you how long the process will take for your specific scenario.
What is an MRI used to diagnose?
In the head and neck an MRI can be used to detect brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke, dementia, and causes of headache. The images can also detect aneurysms, blood vessel blockage, and carotid artery disease when examining arteries and veins. Because MRIs are sensitive to cartilage and bone structure it is great for spine examinations and detecting herniated discs, pinched nerves, spinal tumors, spinal cord compressions and vertebral fractures. Seeing the 3 dimensional image created by an MRI is incredibly helpful in the diagnostic and treatment process.
MRI of the Spinal Cord
MRI scans are very useful in detecting abnormalities in the spinal cord that might be harder to detect from other imaging techniques due to bone getting in the way like in the case of an X-ray. It’s the best way to visualize the spinal cord and the surrounding nerves, and is a vital tool in pin pointing nerve damage locations, or the extent of a pinched nerve. With this knowledge your doctor can come up with a customized treatment plan to resolve issues and symptoms you may be experiencing, and recommend the appropriate course of actions. It’s also more sensitive than CT scans for tumor evaluation, so an MRI can be useful in early detection of tumors or infections in the spinal cord area.
Are there risks to an MRI test?
MRI scans are a very safe procedure with no known health risks caused by the magnetic field or radio waves used while the scan is being performed. There may be slight risk of an allergic reaction when a contrast agent is used, but all contrast agents in popular medical circulation are FDA approved and safe. If there is a contrasting agent being administered, let your doctor know if you have diabetes or kidney problems. If you have a cardiac pacemaker, artificial heart valve, metallic plates or pins, or suspect any kind of metal in the body you should alert your doctor.