What equipment is used?

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The traditional MRI unit is a large cylinder-shaped tube surrounded by a circular magnet. You will lie on a moveable examination table that slides into the center of the magnet.

Typical MRI unit

Typical MRI unit

Some MRI units, called short-bore systems, are designed so that the magnet does not completely surround you; others are open on the sides (“low-strength” open MRI). These units are especially helpful for examining patients who are fearful of being in a closed space and for those who are very obese. Newer open MRI units provide very high quality images for many types of exams; however, open MRI units with older magnets may not provide this same quality. Certain types of exams cannot be performed using open MRI. For more information, consult your doctor.

The computer workstation that processes the imaging information is located in a separate room than the scanner.