I have been the manager of an Upright MRI facility, American Dynamic Imaging, for the last 10 years. The most asked question that we get on a daily basis is "Will I be able to complete my MRI in your machine if I am claustrophobic?" Most people asking this question have been unsuccessful previously in a closed, tubular MRI; however, many have been equally terrified in an "Open MRI."
So please allow me to share some of my years of experience working with claustrophobic patients. First, I want to reassure you that you CAN be successful in completing an MRI if you are claustrophobic. You just have to find the right one, and I believe wholeheartedly that the Upright MRI is the very best solution for claustrophobic patients. The reason is that when you are seated, leaning, or standing in an Upright MRI machine, nothing closes in front of you, creating a truly open space during your MRI. There is nothing that closes around your face, since the magnetic walls are on either side of you, instead of top to bottom. (Some people casually refer to this type of machine as being like a hot dog bun instead of a hamburger bun). The point I want to strongly make is that in an Upright MRI machine, you can see out during the entirety of the scan, usually in a position in which you are watching the 50 inch TV that is mounted on the wall in front of you. This is extremely useful in keeping your mind occupied and reminding you that you are not closed in the machine. Although we don't recommend it, you would be able to get out of the Upright machine if you wished, since there is no wall or door that blocks you in the machine. Sometimes, just the idea that you are in control of your space, eases your claustrophobia. Patients also take comfort in the fact that they can bring someone with them during their scan and they can sit in the room, directly in front of them, reassuring the patient that they are not alone. If this is not possible for you, no worries, since the MRI tech is sitting directly in front of you during your scan and although there is a glass wall between you, you can see them. The MRI is a non-invasive procedure that typically last 45 minutes in our Upright Open machine and can be completed without anxiety, fear or pain.
I hope this has been helpful in easing your anxiety in completing an MRI. I greet and speak to people on a daily basis that walk into our office and nervously mention that they believe they are the most claustrophobic person on the planet. We begin immediately reassuring them that they have come to the right place! And we take great joy in seeing the patient’s relief they feel and share after being able to complete their MRI with us… many times after being unsuccessful in several other MRI scanners. So if this is you, please check out our website at www.TheNewMRI.com and contact us today! You don’t have to fear an MRI any longer.
Call us at American Dynamic Imaging because we are “Open” for your MRI business.