Open Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Open MRI) is a more comfortable alternative to traditional MRI. In traditional MRI, you lie on a motorized table that slides into a tube-shaped scanner with openings at either end.

Open MRI at The UVM Medical Center

Here at The University of Vermont Medical Center, we use the strongest open model MRI scanner available. The Philips High Field Open MRI takes high-resolution pictures with faster-than-average scan times. That means better picture quality for your doctor, and less time in the open scanner for you.

Benefits of Open MRI

Open MRIs use machines that allow you to see your surroundings. They offer three times more patient space than a traditional closed MRI and can be be the best options for:

  • Claustrophobic patients
  • Pregnant women
  • Overweight or obese patients
  • Small children - parents can accompany their child and can be visible throughout the scan

What to Expect During an Open MRI

Open MRI scans can take place in the hospital Radiology Department and usually last about 30 to 60 minutes. During the procedure:

  • You will be asked to remove any metal objects such as jewelry, dentures and hearing aids from your body.
  • You may be asked to wear a hospital gown.
  • You may need an intravenous line (IV) if a contrast dye will be injected into your body to improve picture quality.
  • You will lie on an examination table and made as comfortable as possible; the table then slides under the magnet.
  • During the scan, the technologist will stay in constant contact with you from the control room via an intercom; you will be able to see him or her through a window.
  • You will be asked to stay very still when the MRI is scanning. While the scan is taking place you may hear humming and knocking noises.

Preparing for an Open MRI

Most open MRI scans don't require special preparation. In some cases, your doctor may instruct you to stop taking certain medications. Be sure to follow any special instructions your doctor gives you before your exam. You will be asked to remove all of your jewelry and any other metal objects from your body before the scan.

If you have any metal, implanted devices or a pacemaker, please inform the department before your test. The technologist will ensure your exam can be performed as scheduled.

Learn more about a MRI.