Your doctor might order further testing after an examination to determine what’s going on inside the body. Sometimes, a digital image is required to examine the blood system in the body, the organs as well as other details that an X-ray or blood tests won’t reveal. An open MRI is a benefit for those who don’t like to be in an enclosed space. It’s also beneficial for those who aren’t as mobile as other people, for children who might be afraid of the noises from an enclosed system and for elderly individuals who might not understand what’s taking place with the scan.

You won’t need to prepare for the scan. All you have to do is show up at the designated location, sign a few documents and lay on a table so that the MRI machine can scan your body. The process only takes a short time to complete, often less than an hour. Your doctor will usually have the results of the scan the same day or the next day so that you can find out if there is anything wrong and if any further treatments are needed. There are a few things that you should remove or leave at home before the scan, such as jewelry, a watch, safety pins and anything else that’s metallic. Notify the technician about any tattoos or a pacemaker. You also need to let the technician know about any kind of metal shrapnel or medical devices in your body. You also need to let the technician know if you might be pregnant.

Unless your doctor gives you instructions, there isn’t really anything that you need to do to prepare for an MRI. It’s not an invasive procedure. The only thing that might be required is an IV with contrast if the doctor is trying to look for something specific with the blood vessels or to see if there are any blockages anywhere in the body. With an open scan, children can have a parent with them at all times. Medical equipment that shouldn’t be disconnected, such as an IV, can be left in place with an open system.

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Daniel Quinn