MRI scans can be comfortably taken of claustrophobic patients without sedation using an open MRI scanner that has a larger opening than a standard machine. The open MRI is also useful for very overweight patients, according to WebMD.
There are three types of open MRIs available, according to St. Luke's Center for Diagnosis Imaging. These include open MRI, open upright MRI and wide-bore MRI. In anopen MRI, the MRI is taken in a completely open design that is spacious and comfortable for most patients. This MRI yields high-quality images and can be used with patients weighing up to 500 lbs. With an open upright MRI, there is nothing in front of the patient's face during the scan. This allows the patient to watch TV while the scan is occurring, which can make the scan more pleasant and less tedious for the patient. The final type, wide-bore MRI, is a traditional MRI machine with a larger inner bore, which is the interior of the machine where the patient lays during the exam. The advantage of this type of MRI is that it gives the feel of a more open environment that is less confining to patients while providing clear, high-quality images. It can also accommodate overweight patients up to 350 lbs. in weight.