Open MRI gives doctors, patients a choice

An open MRI gives options to both patients and physicians.
An open MRI gives options to both patients and physicians.

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Paul Miller is no stranger to magnetic resonance imaging. "Well I'm a bit claustrophobic. So several years ago I had a bone scan done, in the old style MRI machine, where they took you through in about 30 minutes and with a wall right here. It was very uncomfortable for me," said Miller.

A more recent test brought him to an open MRI. "It's daylight and dark. It's a very comfortable experience. Unfortunately, I have been in several machines over the last year, but this is by far the most comfortable," Miller said.

The testing time on the open MRI varies depending upon what is being looked for. The process could last from 15 minutes to more than an hour.

Ginger Sherrod is the office manager. "We actually have one of the very few open, high field open magnets in this area. And the images from our high field open, it's a 1.0 Phillips, is comparable to the high field tube or closest MRI that other places have," said Sherrod.

She said there is no change in the scans doctors review for their patients. "It's much more in-depth than an x-ray. We actually see 3d images in there cause the MRI will go from the top down and then from side to side. It does show bone. But it shows ligaments and soft tissue," explained Sherrod.

She said the fear factor can also be addressed. "And you can actually have a loved one go in with you. If you need someone to be with you. If you're a little nervous or if it's a child, usually parents want to go."

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