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Topic: is OPEN MRI used for breast

Forum: Not Diagnosed but Worried — Meet others worried about developing breast cancer for the first time.

Posted on: Jul 10, 2007 11:30PM

jogee412 wrote:

I would like to know if breast MRI is done with the newer OPEN MRI machines...i am claustrophobic and anxious and don't think i would get through the process even with anti anxiety medication...and what about the contrast IV and possible alergic reaction....(had lumpectomy and radiation last year)...thanks for any info you can share. I will check with my doctor but would like to hear from anyone in similar situation...thanks

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Posts 1 - 8 (8 total)

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Jul 11, 2007 06:51AM margiejune wrote:

Mine was open, but I imagine it is just what they have. I kept my eyes closed anyway. I wondered at the time if they would/could tape eyes closed so you wouldn't accidentally open them.

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Jul 11, 2007 07:14AM conniehar wrote:

Yep - mine was with an open machine also. No claustrophobic feeling at all. Your head is basically at the very end of the tube where it is all open. You are facing down and it can get uncomfortable after awhile, but if you just relax it is over before you know it. I had no issue with the contrast IV.

Connie

Dx 3/7/2007, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 11, 2007 09:37AM Valsul wrote:

My MRI was open, like a doughnut, but I didn't know this even when I was on the table, so I kept my eyes shut because I am also claustrophobic. But my eyes opened of their own accord and I saw that there was fresh air above my head I laughed at it all, so relieved.

Don't just smell the roses - become the rose

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Jul 11, 2007 09:47AM jpann39 wrote:

Mine was open too....the first part of the mri was down with me laying on my back and the second part laying on my stomach...I knew I would have issues with the tube thing so the Dr. gave me a valuim to take just before the test....also the mri tech gave me a wash cloth to place over my eyes while I was laying on my back...it really helped so you might take on with you or ask for one.

Hope it works out ok for you
jule

'Gain strength by the positive and don't be sapped by the negative"

Dx 11/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 11, 2007 10:48AM BobbiC wrote:

Hey, girlfriend: I am in the same boat as you --I am extremely clausterphobic and am dreading the MRI--I was told they cannot do the breast mri with a "open" mri--(the one that looks like a oreo cookie with you being the filling) and open on all sides--they have to use special coils around the breast so they can only do it in a "closed" MRI--which is a tube like doughnut shaped machine--open at both ends --I was thinking if I took some ativan about 1 hour before and lying on my stomach with a washcloth over my face--I just might make it - I was told not everyone MRI location can do the breat MRI --so you have to check--I found one that uses the "Aurora" system --which seems to be very user-friendly for women--also I am a "large and beautiful" women--so I was worried about my size and the "tube" --man, I have visions of getting stuck in there --I was diagnosed with DCIS in June '06 -had wide-excision lumpectomy --now we want to keep checking--have mammo every 6 mos. --but dr. wants to add breast MRI-
Hugs,
Bobbi
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Jul 11, 2007 04:41PM kathyinjuneau wrote:

I am extremely claustrophobic. I honestly didn't believe I would be able to make it through an MRI. I have panicked in much less confined situations. Mine was not open (I also was told that they couldn't use an open one for breast imaging.) I can't stress enough how I thought nothing in the world would ever make me able to get through this. My surgeon was very respectful and asked if I would try. So I took two Xanax about 45 minutes ahead and I think I sort of dozed through it. Honestly, I was euphoric afterwards because I had made it through. I ended up needing another MRI two days later and just took two more Xanax. It did sort of wipe me out for the rest of the day, but that was a small price to pay.

My experience was that I needed to go in head first briefly. I was brought out and then lay on my stomach with my breasts in the coils and my head near the open end.

Good Luck!
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Jul 14, 2007 09:33AM nash wrote:

I am horribly claustrophobic also. I've been through a breast MRI, a back/pelvic MRI and an non-cancer related neck MRI, all in closed machines, with no anti-anxiety meds. The breast one was the most uncomfortable as far as having to lie on one's stomach with one's boobs in the coils.

I was terrified of the closed MRI the first time, but if you keep your eyes closed and concentrate on the light and the air blowing in your face, it's not that bad. There's a racket from the MRI machine that it sounds like a techno beat, so I just pretended I was at a dance club. My back MRI went for over an hour, so they actually gave me music to listen to in headphones, which also helped.

I also worried about allergic reactions to the contrast, b/c I'm allergic to a lot of meds. From what I understand, if you are going to have a bad reaction, it will happen right away, and they're watching for it. I did have delayed reactions of nausea and headache later in the day, but they passed and wasn't a problem.

If I can do it, you can do it. The first time I was so scared, I was literally trembling walking into the room. Once I got through it I realized I could handle it, and the subsequent MRI's haven't been that bad. That being said, if you need meds to calm down, by all means take them, and if you can find an open MRI, all the better.

Good luck!

Dx June 2007, age 38, Stage IIa 2.7 cm pleomorphic ILC, ER+/PR+ HER2-, CAFx6, rads, Tamox, Zometa, Oncotype 18

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Jul 30, 2007 03:50PM jogee412 wrote:

just a quick update...thanks to all of you wonderful ladies who shared your experiences with me ..... it made all the difference in the world....i had my mri with good results.. thank God...the experience was so easy and stressless, thanks to a xanax or 2...and the techs were sympathetic and supportive...i was put in a tube, face down with my arms outstretched, hands almost hanging out of the open end of the machine...and yet it was not considered an "open" mri...once i knew that there was an opening and my hands were out, i totally calmed down...one of the techs told me that she would stay in the room with me so i wond not feel isolated...she was an angel....i was told that i still need another mamo and sono and pray for the same good results....(had lumpectomy and rads one year ago...i am not on any anti-estrogen) therapy)....best wishes to all and thanks again.