13 November 2010 3 Comments

The “open ” MRI

Just over ten years ago I was diagnosed with cancer and along with the obvious shock, fear and worry about the disease itself came other fears.

One of the most difficult experiences was having an MRI scan. It’s a really important tool for diagnosis and you’d think with everything else going on,having a scan would be the least of your worries. But I’m claustrophobic so it was a huge ordeal and one that I wouldn’t like to experience again.

Cross Section MRI Scanner - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

Cross Section MRI Scanner - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

Recently I’ve been in Windsor experiencing a machine which makes all those fears evaporate. I met Harry , who has prostrate cancer and knew after his first scan in a conventional MRI that, no matter how serious his condition, or how important the diagnosis, he’d never be able to get in one again.

So he was relieved to realise that there is now an alternative which takes all the anxiety away. The “open” MRI scanner is just what it says it is – a scanner which doesn’t feel in the least claustrophobic.


I thought it was worth flagging up because if you, like Harry and myself have huge anxiety about confined spaces and you know you need regular MRIs, it’s worth knowing there is an alternative.

3 Responses to “The “open ” MRI”

  1. Dominic 13 November 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Interesting – how do the coils work then?

  2. David JS Gibson 15 November 2010 at 2:42 am #

    Thank you for the information on Open MRI, very helpful. I thought it was me when I had to go to my doctors to get a sedative to stop spinning when I lay flat, and the table on the MRI scanner is flat. On return I managed to stay in the machine for an extended period of time but the after effect was totally unpredictable. Thankfully my daughter had taken me to the hospital otherwise I would have driven. When I came out from the scanner I could not stand for dizziness, we sat for about half an hour then she helped me to the car. I went home and was off work for two days.
    This scan did its job fantastically and identified my inner ear problems but I really do think a little more consultation should take place first.