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Open MRI FAQ

What is an MRI?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems use radiofrequency waves and a strong magnetic field rather than x-rays to provide remarkably clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. The technique has proven very valuable for the diagnosis of a broad range of pathologic conditions in all parts of the body including cancer, heart and vascular disease, stroke, and joint and musculoskeletal disorders. MRI requires specialized equipment and expertise and allows evaluation of body structures that may not be as visible with other imaging methods, particularly neurological and orthopedic anatomy.

What is the advantage of an Open MRI?

The MRI System is open on all sides often eliminating the anxiety of the narrow closed MRI Scanner.

Our compassionate staff understands the anxiety an MRI can cause and are well prepared to assist even the most claustrophobic patient. If you’d prefer, a family member or friend can remain with you in the scan room to help put you at ease. Our mission is to treat every patient like family.

OPEN MRI OF CONNECTICUT’s MRI systems are all ACR Certified, they have achieved Gold Standard Certification, which is the highest level of image quality and patient safety governed by the American College of Radiology. See ACR Accredited

Will my insurance pay for an Open Sided MRI?
Most insurance companies pay for the MRI exam, but several insurance companies require their preapproval prior to the MRI. For those insurance companies your physician’s office is required to obtain the preapproval prior to the exam. For specific information about insurance coverage or for payment questions please contact our experienced staff.

What can I expect as an open mri patient experience?
A typical MRI Exam takes approximately 40 minutes. During the Open Sided MRI exam, you will be lying on a firm table. The technologist will make every effort to make you comfortable while they position you for your exam . The inside of the machine is well lit and open on each side as well as front and back providing a more open comfortable environment. The MRI makes a loud knocking noise while acquiring the images. For your comfort, you will be given ear plugs or ear phones to listen to music during the exam. If you prefer, you can bring your own CD to listen to your favorite music.

How do I prepare for an Open Sided MRI exam?
Because we use a large magnet in the MRI, no metallic objects or mechanical devices can enter the imaging room. You may want to keep this in mind when deciding what to wear to your MRI appointment. Below is a list of suggestions to help you prepare.

Clothing: Wear something lightweight and comfortable that is easy to take on and off. Avoid wearing clothing that has metal snaps, zippers or hooks. Lockers are provided for your convenience.

Jewelry: Most metal jewelry and all watches must be removed.

Hair accessories: Any hair clips, ties, or pins that are made of metal or have metal parts on them must be removed.

Make-up: Because some make up, particularly mascara, is made with a metallic base, it is best not to wear much make-up the day of your appointment.

Dental devices: If you wear dentures, or partial dental plates, you may be asked to remove them depending on your exam.  For your comfort please check with us.

Medication & diet: You may continue to take any doctor prescribed medications and there are no dietary restrictions.

Special considerations prior to your exam: Because the MRI machine is a strong magnet, any and all devices implanted in your body must be researched by our MRI staff. The office staff and the technologists will both review MRI safety questions with you. Additional information or testing may be needed prior your MRI to ensure that it is safe for you. Please notify our facility prior to your exam if you have any of the following:

  • Cardiac pacemaker
  • Metal in eye including implants
  • Internal defibrillator device
  • If you are Pregnant or there is a possibility that you are Pregnant
  • Bone graft or neural stimulators
  • Cerebral aneurysm clips
  • Cochlear implants (ear)
  • Shrapnel


What do I do after my exam?

Follow your normal daily activities.

Your exam will be interpreted by our radiologists and their findings will be reported to your physician. Your physician will then be able to discuss the results of your MRI with you.

What do I need to bring with me on the day of my exam?

You will need to bring your current insurance card(s) and picture identification such as a Drivers License.

Are MRI’s Safe?

Open Sided MRI’s are very safe. There are no health risks associated with magnetic field or the radio waves used by the machine nor have any side affects been reported. There is no harmful radiation associated with MRI.

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