MRI when claustrophobic?

I am sure someone here might have some advice. My uncle is in the hospital and needs an MRI. He is claustrophobic, so he is refusing to do it. He NEEDS the the MRI. When my Dad told me about this I mentioned an open MRI, but his hospital does not have one and nobody is advocating for one. Can you do an MRI while sedated?

He lives in Raleigh NC, but I do not know which hospital he is at. I looked up the phone # I have and it shows up New Bern NC. Anyone know of a hospital around there with an open MRI?



Hi Terri...I too am claustrophobic and it is common ... most hospitals say the open MRI's don't show as good of pictures and that is why more hospitals don't have them...Your uncle needs to call the Radiology Department and/or Doctor tell them .. he is claustrophobic and they will give him calm him...I take something the night before and then that morning...and it helps ... hope this helps your Uncle too...also, I close my eyes and keep them close on the I never look at inside, etc., Colleen

Terri...what might his potential be of CT / CTA vs MRI /MRA?

Best wishes for all your help for his care...


I'm claustrophobic too and keep my eyes shut the whole time. I can't remember some details though before my surgery so I don't remember if they gave me something to keep me mellow. I do remember them providing music for a little while so that kept me calm too. Perhaps you could call Radiology at his hospital and ask how they handle patients with claustrophobia?

Thanks everyone. He talked to them again and they are going to sedate him. Hopefully they can figure out what is going on.


Hi Terri,

I am claustrophobic and I just take a alprazolam before I go and have another on me just in case I start to freak out. Seems to work in calming me down. Good luck.


Open MRIs are not as good at certain studies as the tube type. As for his anxiety any Benzo should work. I never had a problem with MRIs until my brain aneurysm and having to have them repeatedly. My drug of choice is Xanex. I never take them otherwise, so they are very effective. 5mg about 30 to 40 minutes before the MRI and I come out asking "you are done already"?

Hospitals deal with this every day. I am sure they can give him something as a test the day before the MRI to see if it works. Best of luck.

Someone just asked me what do about claustrophobia when you need an MRI. Does anybody have other suggestions?

Seenie from ModSupport