Having A "Closed" MRI
Here's where we split the description for "old/closed" versus "new/open" MRI machines. First, the "old" or "closed" machines:
You will be imaged inside a long tubular "hole" in the machine, about 2 feet in diameter. Since your heart (chest) is being imaged, you will slide into the machine head first, with your feet outside the machine. If you are truly claustrophobic, you should insist on having this test done in a newer, "open" MRI machine. I am mildly claustrophobic but I had no problems except for the very first instant I opened my eyes inside the imager and realized I could barely move and that the "top" was only a few inches from my face. With my eyes closed (and prayers said), I quickly relaxed. I wound up going to sleep in the thing
but that's unusual.
There is an intercom built into the machine, so you and the technician can talk back and forth. If you don't say anything, every once in awhile they'll talk to you just to make sure you're okay, and to tell you how long there is to go. If you realize the tightness is too much for you at some point, they can slide you out anytime, so keep that in mind that you're not really "stuck."
Now, I gotta tell you, the imaging itself is loud! It will sound like someone is knocking hammers against the sides of this big metal machine you are inside. Not to fear - it's supposed to sound that way! The sounds are caused by the magnetic field gradients being turned on and off. Because of the volume, you'll be given foam ear plugs, which you roll between your fingers and stick into your ears. These plugs work really well. I worked 15 years in lumber mills and used similar ear protection all day long. Some clinics now give you headphones to wear with music instead.
You lie on the bed of the machine before being slid in and the tech puts an imaging coil around your chest. The tech will position your body so your heart is under 2 intersecting light beams that form a "bulls-eye." This spot will be advanced to the center of the magnet before the scan begins. This is called landmarking. You're now slid into the machine, during which you don't move at all. For the rest of the test, you must stay as still as possible.
Your MRI will last between 30 and 60 minutes. You will need to lie still for periods of 3 to 10 minutes at a time, while each series of images is collected. You can breathe freely during this time. You may be allowed to move slightly between scans, but not so much that your overall position changes. Aside from the noise, you really don't have a sense of anything being done, which I like in a test.
At the end of the image-taking process, you will be slid out, your headphones or ear plugs removed, chest coil removed, and you'll slowly stretch to ease your stiff muscles. You're done, and can go back to the changing room and your locker to get dressed and head home.
A radiologist specially trained to interpret MRIs (he's also an MD) will read the images and send a report to your doctor. Sometimes the radiologist will want to take images or send them to another doctor for a second opinion. Your doctor will then get the report and share the results with you. This usually takes one one or two days, but if a consultation is needed, may take more.
I suggest getting a copy of both the films and the radiologist's interpretation if at all possible. That way, you always know where they are and what they really say.
Having An "Open" MRI
"Open" machines are less confining, but with slightly lower picture quality because of lower magnetic field strengths. While quality of an MRI exam depends on a lot of factors, a standard (closed) high field magnet will perform better than a low or midfield open magnet, if everything else is the same. However, with image filtering, better coils, and state of the art software, a modern "open" magnet MRI gives good results.
Many open MRI units have a side chair, where a friend or loved one can sit to keep the patient company during the exam. It should also have a built-in intercom with a handheld button, so the patient can talk with the technician during the procedure. These open MRI systems provide techs nearly 360° access to patients. A mirror system allows the patient too see all around him. The wide patient table accommodates patients up to 400 pounds and is quiet, unlike traditional MRI systems.
So in an open machine you won't have all that noise, you won't feel claustrophobic, and you may be allowed to have company with you during the procedure. On the other hand, the quality of the images may not be quite as good. It depends on your doctor, the available facilities, the quality of images needed, and how claustrophobic you are, as to which machine is used
(رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَى وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحاً تَرْضَاهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِي عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِينَ)
ربنا يرحمك و يغفر لك و يثبتك يا سامح " ابو المعاطي شمروخ "
اللهم ارحم كل موتي المسلمين
اللهم اشفي كل مرضي المسلمين
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