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Old 01-30-2020, 04:02 AM
 
108 posts, read 146,853 times
Reputation: 201
I was wondering if anyone could recommend an MRI place in the Valley that has an Open MRI machine? Preferably, in the East Valley, near Scottsdale, Mesa, Apache Junction, Gilbert or Chandler, if possible.



I went to an MRI office location in Fountain Hills on Monday, to try to attempt to have my first MRI scan (to check out my lower back, because I believe that I have a Sciatic nerve problem that has been bothering me and causing a burning pain in my right leg for years), but it turns out that I am apparently legitimately claustrophobic and found that out after about 10 to 15 seconds of being inside the MRI tube. I was told that they offer an MRI machine with a larger tube/bore, but the bigger tube/bore size does not seem like it would be larger enough to make a significant difference and I am afraid that I would have the same reaction, even in the larger MRI tube.

Apparently, the smaller MRI tube is 60cm/24 inches and the larger MRI tube is 70cm/28 inches, but I was so nervous, anxious and uncomfortable in the smaller tube that I don't think a difference of only 4 inches would be significantly helpful. It was honestly like nothing I can recall having ever experienced in my life. They put me in feet first, which is apparently the easier way to have it done, but once I was fully inside the MRI tube and they put the padding on the outside of each of my arms, which was after only like 10 to 15 seconds total, I felt a wave of panic and anxiety that had me absolutely frightened. My body temperature rose instantly, I could not breathe properly and the air inside there was warm and stale, and I felt panicked, because I knew that I could not move my arms and legs around freely, so I asked the person helping me to please slide me back out of the MRI tube, before they even started the scanning process.

I've heard that the machine also makes an incredibly loud noise, but I did not even get to hear the machine turn on, so I don't know how that might have affected me. Honestly, though, being in that confined space and feeling so nervous, uncomfortable and restricted was unlike anything I can ever recall experiencing in my life. It was absolutely frightening and intense and I was actually embarrassed to have to ask them to take me out of the tube after only being in there for like 15 seconds, but I could not conceive being able to comfortably stay in there for 25 to 30 minutes, considering that I basically had intense anxiety and claustrophobia after only being in there for like 15 seconds.

I was initially not even aware that there was such thing as an Open MRI machine, but after doing some searching on Google yesterday, I found out that there is such a thing and that it is apparently much more comfortable and much less stressful and less restrictive than a typical MRI machine is, so I would really like to try to find a place that has an Open MRI machine and see if I can get my doctor to submit a referral to them.

So, if anyone would like to suggest a place that has an Open MRI machine, and would possibly like to share some feedback about how much different and, hopefully, how much more comfortable and less stressful, an open MRI machine is compared to a typical closed MRI machine, I would really appreciate some replies.

Also, I live in Payson, but I work in Scottsdale, at Talking Stick Casino, so I would really like to try to find a location with an Open MRI machine somewhere in or near Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert or Mesa or somewhere in the East Valley, if possible and convenient.

By the way, if somebody would like to share some feedback on personal experiences with the differences between the 24-inch and the 28-inch tubes in the typical MRI machines, please feel free to do that. People have suggested taking some sort of anti-anxiety medication, or a valium, or going with the sedation that they offer, but another issue that I have is that my problem (which, I believe, is caused by Sciatica) causes a burning pain in my right leg that bothers me pretty much all day, everyday, and I have to move my legs around or adjust them every 15 to 30 seconds. So, unless, I was actually sedated to the point of being unconscious or completely relaxed, I don't think that I could stay close to completely still in such a restricted area/environment for 25 to 30 minutes.

I'm really hoping that the Open MRI machine will be much more comfortable and relaxed and easier for me to have a chance of holding still in. I also saw something about a Standing/Upright MRI machine, but I don't know if that would work for the lower back scan that I apparently need, or if they are even conveniently available, or if they are considerably more expensive.

If anyone has any recommendations, suggestions, ideas, advice or feedback that they would like to share about MRI experiences, please know that I would genuinely appreciate some helpful replies.




P.S. I also posted about this on another forum and someone mentioned that Open MRI machines do not post image results that are as good/clear/detailed as what standard closed-tube MRI machines produce. Is this accurate? Or, as I'm hoping, are the Open MRI machines these days about to produce good-quality scan images?


I did some Google searching for Open MRI locations in the Phoenix area and noticed that at least one of their websites specifically stated that their Open MRI scans produce excellent images. However, I have no idea how reliable and accurate this actually is. Particularly, when compared to the results from a standard closed-tube MRI machine. Does anyone know if the results from an Open MRI machine scan might not good/clear/detailed enough for my doctor to be able to clearly see what he needs to see in my lower back area?


Also, does anyone know anything about a Standing/Upright MRI Machine? Is that likely a good potential option for a lower back scan to check for a pinched/compressed Sciatic nerve issue? And if so, is it harder to get a referral for a Standing/Upright MRI scan? And are they more expensive than a normal or Open MRI scan?
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Old 01-30-2020, 04:31 AM
 
1,487 posts, read 869,928 times
Reputation: 2102
I don’t think there is a standing MRI..plus the test takes awhile and you would not be able to stay still

An open MRI looks like a donut shaped machine that is around a table that you lay on...you have full visibility..you do not feel confined..and will not panic!

The machine makes a loud, clanging sound...the sound starts and stops..I think the entire test is about 15 minutes....it is not scarey!

I have never taken or needed a sedative...my older sister once taught me her trick to getting thru the time..

We count to 60, over and over again...voila great distraction

BTW....I saw the closed MRI once...and walked out!,
You are not alone..

Yes the images are detailed
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Old 01-30-2020, 01:24 PM
 
125 posts, read 79,865 times
Reputation: 232
I scheduled an Open MRI and thought it would be...Open. It was not open enough for me so I couldn't do it. I ended up with a standing MRI. I believe it is through Simon Med on Missouri in Phx. Just call them and confirm they have the stand up MRI machine.
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Metro Phoenix, AZ USA
17,914 posts, read 43,201,302 times
Reputation: 10719
Quote:
Originally Posted by cocobell View Post
I scheduled an Open MRI and thought it would be...Open. It was not open enough for me so I couldn't do it. I ended up with a standing MRI. I believe it is through Simon Med on Missouri in Phx. Just call them and confirm they have the stand up MRI machine.
And, the advantage of the standing MRI for a study of your low back is that it will show your lumbar spine as it is when you are standing/walking and putting a load on it, as opposed to lying down.

It is correct that the open MRIs produce images of somewhat less quality than the standard MRI in the closed tube. I am not familiar with scans from the standing ones.

Most if not all MRI places will give you headphones to wear to listen to music. Helps with the noise and with general distraction from what's going on.
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
768 posts, read 826,100 times
Reputation: 1676
I got an open mri in Mesa near Mesa Dr and McKellips and they were even open past 9pm by appointment. Unfortunately I forgot the name of the place.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Arizona
1,665 posts, read 2,927,526 times
Reputation: 2383
There are very few open MRI machines and the one I used was very old, they do not produce high quality MRI pics but are slightly more bearable than the coffin like smaller machines that are frightening to people even with a little claustrophobia. You need to stay inside the tube for quite a while and it is noisy as well as being small. They really need to invent something better.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
3,285 posts, read 2,635,598 times
Reputation: 8224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arizona Renegade View Post
I went to an MRI office location in Fountain Hills on Monday, to try to attempt to have my first MRI scan (to check out my lower back, because I believe that I have a Sciatic nerve problem that has been bothering me and causing a burning pain in my right leg for years)
Why do you "believe" this? What's the basis for your belief?

You either have a diagnosis from a qualified medical professional, or you don't. Your beliefs don't count.
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Redwood City, CA
15,242 posts, read 12,818,804 times
Reputation: 54012
Quote:
Originally Posted by autism360 View Post
There are very few open MRI machines and the one I used was very old, they do not produce high quality MRI pics but are slightly more bearable than the coffin like smaller machines that are frightening to people even with a little claustrophobia. You need to stay inside the tube for quite a while and it is noisy as well as being small. They really need to invent something better.

Nearly 40 million MRI scans are done in the U.S. every year. Obviously the vast majority of people tolerate it just fine.
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Old 02-02-2020, 02:48 PM
 
Location: The Circle City. Sometimes NE of Bagdad.
24,289 posts, read 25,791,910 times
Reputation: 59491
I have been known to take a short nap when I have a MRI. Heard that some of them have ear phones so you can listen to music
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:15 PM
 
Location: prescott az
6,954 posts, read 11,988,918 times
Reputation: 14218
You wear an eye mask to keep your eyes shut and you will be fine. Ear plugs plus headphones to muffle the sound. No problem. You might go to sleep.
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