Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines have dramatically advanced over the years. Nowadays, private diagnostic centres in London, like Upright MRI, use open upright MRI scanners designed for comfort and accessibility.

Unlike conventional enclosed tunnel MRI scanners, open MRI devices are ideal for patients of all body types and provide higher-quality imaging. Using open MRI machines, doctors can accurately diagnose various medical conditions including cancer, ENT conditions and musculoskeletal and spinal problems.

In this article, we discuss two patient groups who can largely benefit from open MRI scans.


Bariatric patients


Obesity is a serious concern in the UK. According to data from the World Health Organization, 36% of men and 33% of women in the UK will be obese by 2030. The rising prevalence of obesity not only creates health risks for patients, but may also directly impact healthcare providers.

Many hospitals are facing a need for larger beds, wheelchairs, operating tables and imaging equipment. Enclosed MRI scanners often have narrow dimensions that prevent bariatric patients from lying comfortably for the duration of the procedure.

Fortunately, the introduction of open MRI scanners has helped address this growing problem. Thanks to their fully open configuration, open MRI machines are more equipped to accommodate larger patients compared to traditional MRI devices. They can also fit wider MRI tables that can support greater weights.

Unlike other MRI devices that can only scan patients lying down, open MRI machines are less restrictive and offer greater ease in positioning. This allows doctors to examine certain areas of pain better.


Patients with claustrophobia and anxiety


Another group that may benefit from open MRI is patients struggling with claustrophobia.

The shape and dimensions of conventional scans are tightly enclosed, which can make some patients feel nervous. The idea of entering and remaining in the narrow bore of a regular MRI scanner for 20 minutes to an hour can trigger high levels of claustrophobic anxiety.

In some cases, sedatives may be needed to calm the patient. In worst-case scenarios, the session may be terminated due to the patient’s refusal to continue. Anxiety can also result in increased patient movement which can affect the scan’s diagnostic quality and accuracy.

With open MRI configurations, the likelihood of a claustrophobic event is significantly reduced. Open MRI machines feature wider openings that offer greater space and airflow on either side. The bore is also removed altogether, making the machine look and feel less confining.

Furthermore, open MRI devices allow technicians to maintain eye contact and communicate with the patient on the table throughout the session. This creates a calmer and more emphatic patient experience.


Experience a stress-free MRI


New open MRI technology provides high-quality results and increased patient comfort. These sleek machines also offer better image quality, faster exam times and less noise.

At Upright MRI, we use the latest open machines designed to scan patients in weight-bearing positions. We take pride in being the largest established operator of upright and open MRI technology in the UK as well as the first to offer this alternative form of medical imaging to the public.

Contact us today for safe, comfortable, and non-invasive imaging procedures.

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