Open MRI Machines for Claustrophobia

The simplest way to relieve MRI Claustrophobia, and our number 3 technique, may not be what you do to yourself but what the imaging facility has to offer.

Number 3 technique


You could prepare yourself with any or all of the other techniques in this list only to have them negated by walking into the exam room and being suprized by the machine itself. One of the simpliest ways to relive MRI claustrophobia is to know what the MRI machine is like before you go in for the exam.

MRI machine

Any medical facility should be able to tell you what machine they would use for your doctor's order and even provide a description of it and your exact proceedure.

There are three different types of open MRI machine constructions:

Semi open high field MRI scanners provide an ultra short bore (tunnel) and widely flared ends. In this type of MRI systems, patients lie with the head in the space outside the bore, if for example the hips are examined. See an example of a semi-open high field MRI scanner here.

Open low field MRI machines have often a wide open design, e.g. an open C-arm scanner is shaped like two large discs separated by a large pillar. Patients have an open sided feeling and more space around them allows a wider range of positions. See an example of an open low field MRI scanner here.

Advanced open MRI scanners combine the advantages of both, the high field strength, newest gradient technology and wide open design. Even scans of patients in upright, weight-bearing positions are possible, including sitting or even standing with nothing in front of you. See an example of an advanced open MRI scanner here.

Search our list of the more popular MRI machines.

In the link above, you can actually see and read about the contraption you will be in so you can visualize it and decide if it's 'open' enough before you ever go. And the directory at the bottom right of this page enables you to find and call MRI facilities to even make a visit.

You wouldn't buy a mattress without lying down on one. Why wouldn't you try out an MRI machine? So call around. Ask what machine or scanner they would use and look it up in our list of pictures to the right of this column.

Smart shopping doesn't just mean clipping coupons and saving pennies. In this case it can also mean saving a lot of undue anxiety.

Call your doctor or imaging facility before your next MRI and ask them what MRI they will use with you.

The more you know, the better.

So your doctor ordered an MRI for you. Feeling claustrophobic already? Maybe more than a little nervous? Sometimes the more you know about it, the less scary it will seem. Here's some helpful information to help educate yourself on what an MRI experience is really like.

Getting a MRI:

Find out what the experience is like and what you should expect.

Before the MRI
During the MRI
After the MRI

Frequently Asked MRI Questions

You'd be suprised how many people are wondering about the same things you're wondering about.

What are MRI scans?
Why would someone need or get a MRI scan?
What are the different types of MRI scans?
What is an MRI experience like?
What are the costs of a MRI scan?
What are the risks of a MRI scan?
How are MRIs different than MRA scans?
How are MRIs different than x-rays or CT scans?


We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Types of MRIs

AbdomenAdrenal GlandsAppendixBackBile DuctsBladderBlood VesselsBoneBowelBrainBreastCervical SpineCervixChestDiscFallopian TubeFetusFootFull BodyGallbladderHeadHeartJointKidneyLegLiverLumbarLymph NodesMRANeckNoseOveriesPancreasPelvisPenisProstateScrotumShoulderSpineSpleenTesticlesTumorUrethraUterusVertebraeWhole Body


IMPORTANT: The information on this page, and throughout the entire site, is not intended to provide advice or treatment for a specific situation. Consult your physician and medical team for information and treatment plans on your specific condition(s). Images are shown for illustrative purposes. Do not attempt to draw conclusions or make diagnoses by comparing these image to other medical images, particularly your own.

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