Medical Imaging in Los Angeles: Open MRI Options

In Los Angeles, open MRI scans can be hard to come by. Not every hospital or imaging facility can maintain more than one machine, and health care administrators tend to focus on the fact that closed-bore MRIs support stronger magnets.

In fact, given recent advances in open MRI technology, this option is perfectly adequate for most types of scans. And finding an open MRI provider in Los Angeles is as simple as calling at 888-322-7785.

You might prefer the experience of an open MRI scanner if:

1. You have general claustrophobia.

Claustrophobia, the fear of being trapped in enclosed spaces, affects between 15 and 37 percent of people around the world, reports Medical News Today. Confined places spark anxiety and sometimes fully-fledged panic attack in these patients.

Closed-bore MRI tubes tend to have narrow diameters. The diameter of the tube on a newer machines is typically around 2.3 feet. Older machines are even narrower. Patients who have claustrophobia can ask their doctors about the possibility of an open MRI, which leaves open space to the left and right of a prone patient. This is usually enough to alleviate the claustrophobic reaction.

2. You’ve had claustrophobic episodes during previous MRI scans.

Not everyone who experiences significant anxiety in a traditional MRI tube suffers from general claustrophobia. The combination of an unfamiliar environment, the narrow enclosure, the sound of the equipment working, and fear of an unpleasant diagnosis can spark a claustrophobic reaction even in patients who don’t have them in other contexts.

One study tracked 76,254 MRI recipients over a period of 8 years. In that time, the researchers noted 417 patients who became claustrophobic in the tube of a traditional MRI machine. While that study showed a pretty low rate of claustrophobia (it’s about half of 1 percent), we can’t assume that everyone who showed claustrophobia in that study had a true claustrophobic anxiety disorder. Closed-bore MRI machines just seem to make some patients uncomfortable. Those patients should try an open MRI scanner.

3. You can’t fit into the narrow chambers of a traditional MRI machine.

There’s no delicate way to say this. Some patients are simply too big to fit into a traditional MRI tube. Open MRI machines give greater clearance with wide-open sides, so many patients who cannot enter a closed-bore machine are able to get the diagnostic imaging services they need with an open MRI scanner.

When you live in Los Angeles, open MRI scans are just around the corner. All you have to do is contact Find your nearest location and book online here. Call our friendly scheduling staff at 888-322-7785 if you have any questions.

We offer all of Los Angeles open MRI services with quick, accurate reporting.


Mubarak, Fatima, Kainat Baig, and Shayan Sirat Maheen Anwar. “Claustrophobia during Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Cohort of 8 Years.journalrepository. Journal Repository, 22 Jan, 2015. PDF. 16 June 2017.

Paddock, Mike. “Claustrophobia: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments.MedicalNewsToday. Healthline Media UK Ltd, 25 June 2015. Web. 16 June 2017.

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