Should You Schedule an Open MRI?

MRI technology with its many capabilities, is one of the most requested medical imaging procedures for facilities like Doctors Imaging. There are varying kinds of MRI systems so that you, as the patient, have options, and as such can make along with your doctor, the best choice for your needs.

Did you know there isn’t just one kind of MRI machine? There are various manufacturers as well as range of capabilities when it comes to choosing an imaging facility. For example, at Doctors Imaging in Metairie, we use a Siemens 3.0T MRI machine. This differs from other hospitals and imaging facilities, because many use a 1.5T MRI. While these can still get the job done, 3.0T means that the machine is designed to look into the body with very high resolution. These machines are more expensive for us as a facility, and yet, we still offer better pricing as well as better equipment than you would receive at many hospitals

Not only do we offer powerful MRI capabilities, we offer different kinds of MRIs to fit your specific needs. For example, we offer both closed and open bore MRI services. Closed MRIs are the traditional form of MRI. This means that the magnet located within the machine surrounds the body. Most patients have no difficulty with the conventional machine and the images obtained are better than open systems. When necessary, we also offer open bore MRI scans, meaning that the machine allows the patient free access during the scan and leaves open a small portion of space. Open bore MRIs are offered to patients that have a claustrophobic feelings while in the machine. These kind of anxious feelings can have a negative effect on the image quality especially if a patient is breathing heavily or moving within the chamber. Furthermore, we at Doctors Imaging do not want a patient to have an uncomfortable experience at our facility. We are committed to providing the best quality of care for our patients, so feel free to ask your physician if a friend or family member can remain nearby or if you would like calming music and in extreme cases we can offer a light sedative to relax nervous patients.

However the benefits of an open bore MRI are obvious, but there are some disadvantages. The primary disadvantage of an open MRI versus a closed MRI is that an open MRI’s images will not be as high quality as its counterpart.

We also offer diffusion tensor imaging at Doctors Imaging, an advanced form of MRI used for brain injuries and concussions. Diffusion tensor imaging is used to trace the movement of water in the brain pathways when routine MRI examinations and CT studies are normal. Because hydrogen atoms move in a specific way in the brain, when there is a noted disruption, doctors can be confident that they have found a microscopic injury site and can treat the head injury better and faster.

If you have more questions about open versus closed MRIs, take a look at our MRI service page for more information. If you would like to schedule an MRI appointment, you can use our Request Appointment feature or you can call our office at 504-833-8111 Monday through Friday to speak with a representative of Doctors Imaging.

What is an MRI and How Does It Work?

If you have ever taken a nasty fall, gotten into an accident, or even watched a medical drama on television then you have probably heard of an MRI. What is an MRI? MRI or magnetic resonance imaging, is a kind of medical imaging procedure that allows doctors to take images of the internal body in the effort to diagnosis, treat and heal patients.

You may be wondering “Isn’t that what an X-ray does?” You’re right, X-rays can see into the body, take images that can be used by doctors. But X-rays are a specialized technique mostly to observe bone and the skeletal system of the body. What about the other structures of the body like organs, tissues, and ligaments? Until the creation of the MRI, these areas were not easily seen without surgery. That meant performing exploratory surgery often, in the hope that the answer would be revealed.

In the 1970s, medical researchers were wondering if there was a way to see into the body’s structure without surgery and without causing permanent damage. Dr. Raymond Damadian is credited as being the first physician to perform a body scan with the technology he referred to at the time as nuclear magnetic resonance or what we now know as magnetic resonance imaging or MRI.

When you are walking down the street and car drives by with an enhanced bass, you feel it? If the sound is strong enough, it can cause vibrations or movement in the area around it. It is in this idea that the capability of the MRI can be understood. Ultrasounds had been using similar technology for a number of years as well.

To begin, the human body is composed of many molecules and atoms all moving in a precise way. An MRI consists of a large circle magnet. Once the body of the patient has been placed in the chamber, the MRI machine blasts sound waves at the body. These sound waves disrupt the hydrogen molecules of the body but then they are immediately stabilized by the magnet. Then using computer software, an image can be produced showing where the molecules were. In essence, the machine sends hydrogen into a frenzy then makes it return to it’s original place and creates an image from the before, during and after data.

How is this technology helpful for the medical field? When looking for a tumor, a break, a tear, anything that shouldn’t be in the body, the area sends back data to the computer stating that is different. This lets doctors know that something has happened there that needs examination.

MRIs are primarily used to examine the musculoskeletal system of the body. They are painless, requiring no incision and they contain no exposure to radiation like traditional X-rays do.

Doctors Imaging continues its efforts to provide “state of the art” medical imaging equipment along with access to innovative methods of imaging. We were the first facility in the state to use a Siemen’s 3.0T MRI system, the strongest available for clinical use, and we are the first in the greater New Orleans to offer DTI or Diffusion Tensor Imaging, an advanced form of MRI that allows radiologists to chart the nerve pathways in the brain. We also offer an Open MRI for patients that are uncomfortable in the closed MRI. We are committed to maintaining updated equipment and groundbreaking methodologies for the residents of Louisiana.

If you have more questions about what MRIs can do, please view our MRI Service Page. If you would like to schedule an MRI, you may do so through our Request Appointment Portal or you can call our office in Metairie at 504-833-8111 to speak to a representative.