Many people experience a feeling of claustrophobia when they get their first look at an MRI machine.
To ease your fears: For some exams (such as MRI scanning of the knee or ankle), the head does not need to enter the machine. Many modern machines are already much more spacious and more patient-friendly. Our MR machine at our center city location, for example, has an extremely short and very wide rube. It is a “semi-open” 1.5 Tesla system with extremely good image quality. The machine has much higher image resolution than the previous classical open “sandwich MRI” style, which makes it a true alternative for quality reasons as well. We therefore share the opinion of regional university clinics, which are now all using these “semi-open” systems. It is therefore always worthwhile to discuss the exam in detail with the physician who will perform it, and to take a closer look at the machine. A reassuring discussion, many radiologists have found from experience, can help to calm fears. If the problem persists, in rare cases a sedative can also be given. This taken in pill form or injected intravenously prior to the exam. This means that MR exams can be used on pretty much anyone, even patients with massive claustrophobia. One disadvantage is that your concentration is reduced, so you can definitely not drive yourself home after the exam.
If a felling of claustrophobia arises or becomes unbearable only once the exam is underway, you can always make contact with the examining physician or our employees, as you can press the emergency call button in your hand.