The second week in November marked 2016 National Radiological Technology Week. During this event, we thanked the radiological technologists at SpineOne for the work they do in taking care of our patients. It was gratifying to see these hard working specialists be recognized in social media and the Internet, but over the course of the week we noticed a trend in the discussion.
MRI Tests and Stress
Talking about radiological technology usually leads to a discussion about the experiences people have had getting their magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) done, and those discussions tend to follow a kind of pattern, including mostly
- “The scan was so uncomfortable”
- “I can’t stand those coffin-like tubes”
- “My claustrophobia won’t let me get an MRI”
- “I had to take a valium to relax”
In a closed MRI, the part of the body being imaged has to be centered in a fairly long tube. MRI scans are usually physically painless, but they can be extremely unpleasant for those who suffer from claustrophobia or who are otherwise uncomfortable in the small tube of a closed MRI. Since scans can take as long as 40 minutes, even mildly claustrophobic patients have a hard time tolerating an entire scan without medication or management.
In a lot of cases, the very idea of the scan is so unpleasant that people avoid it outright, and we’ve heard stories of people who will avoid getting a necessary MRI because they’re worried about the discomfort of the experience. Continuing to live with back pain, joint pain, or any kind of spine condition because of this discomfort is totally unnecessary.
Open MRI Benefits
All of this is why we choose to offer Open MRI scans at SpineOne. Open MRI technology gives an alternative for patients who are uneasy or uncomfortable with closed MRI scans. The wide-open design of the scanner allows our patients to look around the room (depending on the body part being scanned), listen to music, and enjoy the experience without being enclosed in a tube.
The imaging and capabilities of open MRI scanners are more than enough for most exams, including
- Spine exams for bulging discs and other disorders
- Joint exams for signs of arthritis and injury
The open design also allows more opportunity for positioning, often allowing critical body parts to be scanned without causing extra discomfort.
Our imaging staff will be the first to tell you that the more comfortable a patient is, the better the results of the imaging will be. That’s why our entire facility and staff are designed to provide you with full education and total comfort during your procedure. Our ultimate goal is for you to be pain free as comfortably as possible.