MRI Scan (Spine Lumbar) and claustrophobia - Help!

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Hi, thanks for reading this. Prior to needing this MRI scan I was borderline claustrophobic but now I feel like I'm going to have a panic-attack on the day.  I really need it, have been suffering for so long.

1. Do most units in the UK now have "open" scanners giving a larger space inside?

2. Can you request feet first?

3. Do most offer choice of headphones or earplugs, I can't manage earplugs.

4. Will my head be outsde the scanner if I'm having lower back scanned?

Answers and any additional suggestions will be gratefully received. My scan is in 9 days' time.

Many thanks.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Helen30476,

    I know how you feel I can't stand MRI's that are enclosed, I did tell my dr and they gave me a shot of sedative beforehand, but most of them will give you headphones and some of them have glasses so you can see outside the scanners or they have actually have blind folds, that helped me out one time, but do ask your dr they might be able to give you something so you are not freaking out.

    Good luck from one claustrophobic to another.

    Best of luck

    Cynthia (Cindy)

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  • Posted

    1. Do most units in the UK now have "open" scanners giving a larger space inside?

    No there are very few open scanners.

    2. Can you request feet first?

    Don't think so

    3. Do most offer choice of headphones or earplugs, I can't manage earplugs.

    You can have headphones to listen to their radio or take your favourite CD but don't jive too much!

    4. Will my head be outsde the scanner if I'm having lower back scanned?

    I've always gone in head first whether it was head, three part spine scan or pelvic area.

    Answers and any additional suggestions will be gratefully received. My scan is in 9 days' time.

    You can ask for an eye mask but it is not that bad really it is more roomy than you probably think. You'll be fine, it's the thought that is off putting once your in it is OK.

    Good luck with your result.

     

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  • Posted

    Dear Helen,

    I had an MRI can three days ago and like you I was very anxious. It helped me to look all round the scanner to make sure I knew how long it was and how much of my body would be outside. I concentrated on my breathing for the first couple of

    minutes and once I was able to relax a bit I concentrated on something else. Thinking about lovely places doesn't work for me to I imagined having an interesting conversation with some one. Towards the end I decided I would count down from 100 and if it hadn't finished then I would press my buzzer anyway. They can often see enough by that point.

    All of that helped me feel in control. It is noisy. Hope that helps

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