The simplest way to relieve MRI stress, and our number 3 technique, may not be what you do to yourself but what the imaging facility has to offer.
You could prepare yourself with any or all of the other techniques in this list only to have them negated by walking into the exam room and being suprized by the machine itself. One of the simpliest ways to relive MRI anxiety is to know what the MRI machine is like before you go in for the exam.
Any medical facility should be able to tell you what machine they would use for your doctor's order and even provide a description of it and your exact proceedure.
There are three different types of open MRI machine constructions:
Semi open high field MRI scanners provide an ultra short bore (tunnel) and widely flared ends. In this type of MRI systems, patients lie with the head in the space outside the bore, if for example the hips are examined. See an example of a semi-open high field MRI scanner here.
Open low field MRI machines have often a wide open design, e.g. an open C-arm scanner is shaped like two large discs separated by a large pillar. Patients have an open sided feeling and more space around them allows a wider range of positions. See an example of an open low field MRI scanner here.
Advanced open MRI scanners combine the advantages of both, the high field strength, newest gradient technology and wide open design. Even scans of patients in upright, weight-bearing positions are possible, including sitting or even standing with nothing in front of you. See an example of an advanced open MRI scanner here.
In the link above, you can actually see and read about the contraption you will be in so you can visualize it and decide if it's 'open' enough before you ever go. You wouldn't buy a mattress without lying down on one. Why wouldn't you try out an MRI machine? So call around. Ask what machine or scanner they would use and ask to see it in person before you exam.
Smart shopping doesn't just mean clipping coupons and saving pennies. In this case it can also mean saving a lot of undue anxiety.
Call your doctor or imaging facility before your next MRI and ask them what MRI they will use with you.
So your doctor ordered an MRI for you. Feeling claustrophobic already? Maybe more than a little nervous? There are many things you can do before the actual exam to relieve your anxiety.
We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.
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