• Are you claustrophobic in a CT/PET scan, MRI, Bone Scan, or while wearing a mask for radiation?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

    Are you claustrophobic in a CT/PET scan, MRI, Bone Scan, or while wearing a mask for radiation?

    How do you handle it? Do you have to be sedated? This is a terrible fear for lots of people. Maybe we can offer some tips to get around/through it for them. Let's hear your ideas.

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • Paperpusher's Avatar

      Hubby is definitely claustrophobic. His onc gave him Xanax and Ativan to to take for his PET scans. He takes a Xanax the night before and the morning of the test. He takes the Ativan with him and takes it when the tech tells him too. He walks in but he gets taken out by wheelchair. I get him in the house and he sleeps the rest of the day.
      I'm like some others here. I find the MRI machine relaxing as long as I have a blanket and air flowing through.

      4 days ago
    • smlroger's Avatar

      Never had any issue with PET scans or with the 35 treatments I had wearing a face mask to hold my head in place. Would start out with some deep breathing and relaxation and was asleep within a couple minutes. I feel very fortunate that I didnt have any issues. I think the people running the machines have a lot to do with having a relaxed environment.

      4 days ago
    • andreacha's Avatar

      I am extremely claustrophobic and always have been. When I started MRIs every 3 months they would lightly sedate me. That was from 2006 and 2012. When I had to change to a facility closer to home they realized that I had Sleep Apnea and used a CPAP machine. They said it would be too risky to sedate me with the Versed. I was promised that the tech at my hospital would get me through the MRI each time. That's a big promise. I was told to take 2 Xanax and 1 Ativan on my way to the hospital. The new tech (new to me) came out into the rather full waiting area and announced my name. I raised my hand in response. In front of everyone he asked if I had remembered to remove my nipple ring today!! I couldn't say a word and he said "Well I'll take that as a yes" and started wheeling back to Imaging. I liked him immediately. He took his time and made sure I had taken the meds. He placed a folded facecloth over my face, put on a big but soft leather ear speakers. Then he covered me with a nice warm blanket. Secured my arms to my sides. He said that we would be communicating constantly through out the testing. He would tell me which frame we were on and how long it would take, the remaining number of
      frames etc. The speakers were excellent, far better than I expected. I could talk to him at any time during the test. He would encourage me as to how well I was doing. He was great. I refuse to go thru that machine with any other tech. I know when his vacation days are to be taken for my scheduling purposes. After about 6 months I decided not to take the Ativan. I didn't feel like taking it anymore as it made me feel too groggy. Dr. was OK with that and I haven't taken any since.We,
      Richard and I, have been together for 6 years now. He's very kind, considerate and compassionate. My Oncologist teases me that Richard and I have something going on, but he too knows not to schedule me unless Richard is working.

      4 days ago

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