An open MRI scanner provides a stress-free alternative to a traditional MRI scanner, perfect for claustrophobic and anxious patients, people with restricted mobility, or those needing a weight-bearing, standing, or seated MRI scan.
Open MRI scans are safe and versatile, and may provide a much more comfortable experience for anxious, claustrophobic, overweight or reduced mobility patients.
Open MRI scanners do not fully encase you, create less noise, and the room around you is visible for a more comfortable experience if you have claustrophobia and anxiety.
Conventional tunnel scanners require you to lie flat and very still in an enclosed space. For larger patients or those with restricted movement, sitting or standing in an open MRI is more comfortable.
Some open MRI systems can be tilted to enable standing or seated upright MRI scans, which can help radiologists diagnose the causes of symptoms which may not be present lying down.
Some complex imaging or small body part scans may be unsuitable for an Open MRI system, as the lower magnetic field can reduce image quality compared to tunnel MRI scanners.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of medical scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to generate detailed pictures of the inside of the body.
Unlike a traditional closed MRI scanner, an open or upright MRI scanner doesn't surround you on all sides, reducing the discomfort of an enclosed space. This enables patients with claustrophobia, anxiety issues, or reduced mobility to have a more comfortable scanning experience. You’ll be able to see the scanning room around you, and some machines can even be tilted upright, to enable seated or standing MRI scans.
Different models of open MRI scanner are available. Generally, an open MRI will have magnets above and below you, or on either side of you if upright, rather than all around you like a traditional scanner, which is an enclosed tunnel. Some scanners will have a flat bed you'll lie on during the MRI procedure, while others may have an upright chair or standing space. Some modern facilities have screens so you can watch television while being scanned.
MRI scans are safe and non-invasive, and preparations are minimal. We will let you know ahead of time if you need to do anything in particular, like avoiding eating or drinking beforehand. You might also need to complete medical history and consent forms at your scanning centre.
The scanner's strong magnets can interact with metal objects, so we recommend wearing soft, comfortable clothing with no metal fastenings. You will be asked to remove glasses, belts, watches, jewellery, dentures and hearing aids. You might be asked to change into a medical gown.
After your MRI scan, a radiologist will examine your images, and compile a report of their findings.
The radiologist will then send your results to our clinical team, which can take up to a week. They will check your results, and email a copy to you.
If anything adverse is noted in your report, your clinician will provide a post-scan consultation call to explain the results and next steps.
When you book a private Open MRI with Scan.com, you'll receive a full, end-to-end package of care, starting from just £305.
Our scan costs vary depending on the pricing set by the individual scanning centres.
Quick and easy referral process, with support from a dedicated expert clinician
Your Open and Upright MRI scan, at a selected location near you
Digital access to your radiologist's report, and the option to request copies of your images as required.
If there are any next steps or adverse findings, our expert clinicians will provide a post-scan phone consultation to explain your scan results
Select a scan type and convenient location, and make payment to secure your booking. Within 2 days, you'll receive a phone consultation with an expert clinician, who will ask you about your symptoms, and complete your scan referral.
After referral, your chosen scanning site will call you to offer a choice of appointment times. Some of our sites allow appointment pre-selection at the point of booking. If you've already selected a time, we'll email to confirm it at this stage.
The expert radiographers, sonographers and patient care staff at your selected partner centre will answer any queries and complete your scan. After your scan, the images will be prepared and sent to a highly qualified radiologist for reporting.
Our clinicians will receive your report, and email a copy to you. You can also request copies of your images if needed for onward care. If any abnormalities are found, our clinicians will contact you to discuss your results and next steps.
If you have any questions about booking an Open and Upright MRI scan with us, visit our FAQ guide.
Can't see an answer to your question? Our friendly patient care team are happy to help.
A key benefit of booking with Scan.com is that you do not need a GP referral to access our services. There is also no self-referral process. Instead, our in-house medical team will contact you once you have booked and made payment for your scan. Our clinicians will ask you for all of the relevant information they need to compile a referral on your behalf, which is then passed on to your chosen scanning site.
Once you have had your scan, your radiologist’s report will be emailed to you in PDF format, usually within 7 working days.
Digital copies of your images are also available as required for onward care. The method for accessing the images differs depending on your chosen scanning site.
Some sites use IEP (Image Exchange Portal), while others require an image request form to be completed. Please refer to your results email for further information.
An MRI scan on a single body part typically takes between 10–30 minutes
Full-body MRI scans, additional body parts, or more complex scans can last up to 90 minutes. this time frame can vary, and your radiographer will let you know the estimated duration of your scan before the procedure starts. Visit our news page for more information on how MRI scans work.
Yes, we do offer cancellations and refunds, though depending on the status of your booking this may incur a £50 cancellation fee. For more information, visit our terms and conditions.
Meet our team of expert radiologists, osteopaths, physiotherapists and general practitioners. They're here to provide the highest standards of care throughout your scanning journey.
Dr. Khalid Latief
BMSc, MBChB, FRCP, FRCR
Our growing network of 150+ scanning sites includes multiple open and upright scanners:
We're the UK's largest diagnostic imaging provider, and we offer a wide range of scan types to suit your needs.
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