When choosing a location for an MRI find out what type of machine they have. Is it Open, Closed, or wide bore?
Why find out the type of machine? Well it could be the difference in finding out what's wrong with you. The standard MRI machine is a closed bore unit, and looking at it, it looks like a tunnel that doesn't end. Many times people arrive to have their procedure done and find out they are more claustrophobic than they thought. Because of this you might tend to move around more which might not give the radiologist an accurate picture.
Another type of machine is considered a "wide bore" unit. This machine is sometimes called an open unit, but don't confuse it with the true open experience. The opening of the "wide bore" machine is more of an oval shape, similar to an egg. The unit does have a short bore, but still resembles a tube.
We saved the best for last. The "open" unit, is primarily used to give comfort to those patients who might want to look out a window, need to hold someone's hand, or are claustrophobic, or bariatric. The true "open" unit helps calm people as the sides are more than a wingspan away. The patients we see always tell us, "man, I don't know why anyone would want to go to one of those tube things, this was so much easier."
So next time you are being referred for an MRI make sure you know what you are getting into before arriving and finding out that you can't make it through the procedure.