If you suffer from anxiety or claustrophobia, the design of an open MRI may give you a peace of mind. However, it is normal to still feel nervous about the procedure. One way to get through a medical procedure is to prepare for it. The following tips can help you prepare for your open MRI exam.
Start by figuring out what you should and should not wear to your appointment. You can wear comfortable clothes such as a T-shirt and sweatpants that do not have any metal pieces. You may still need to change into a hospital gown to avoid any issues, so it is best to wear clothes that are easy to remove. It is also best to leave your jewelry and accessories at home because you cannot wear them during the procedure.
You should also figure out if you need to fast before your exam. If your doctor needs to use a contrast agent for your MRI, you cannot eat for at least two hours before the exam. You want to keep your GI tract empty to avoid nausea and take better images. If you are unsure or concerned about any dietary restrictions, be sure to talk to your doctor in advance to make the necessary arrangements.
Learning about the procedure itself can be helpful when preparing for an open MRI. When it is time for your procedure, a technician will escort you to the exam room. You are going to lie on a cushioned table that slides into the MRI scanner, but the open design eliminates the walls on either side of your body. This allows you to lie comfortably without feeling trapped inside a small space. The length of the procedure depends on what area is being scanned, but the procedure usually takes about 10 minutes to 1 hour. Remember, an MRI procedure is painless and uses a low dose of radiation.
It is important to schedule your open mri as soon as possible. Your doctor is going to use the results to diagnose your condition and get you on the road to recovery.