I am claustrophobic and scared of MRI's. I have been through an MRI with intervals of 10 minutes inside and 2 minutes out, through the whole hour I went through this process. They can put me to sleep but not fully. What can I expect by not being fully asleep?? Seems my claustrophobia is getting worse.
Claustrophobia and MRI imaging doesn't mix very well. Aside from the intense anxiety, movement of the patient within the scanner makes the images very difficult to interpret. The institution that can put you "not fully" asleep, is likely using a form of conscious sedation. For individuals with severe claustrophobia, this is a good option. What this entails is usually oral medication you would take before the scan that would essentially cause you to sleep (or at a minimum, not care that you are in a scanner). There are different protocols base on the institution you are at (and the specifics should be discussed with them). Regardless of the protocol, you should make sure you have a ride home as you will not be capable of driving for a while!
A. Scott Nielsen MD MMSc
Neurologists and MS Specialist at Kaiser Permanente