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  #1  
Old 01-05-2009, 03:53 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Is a CT scan a claustrophobic sort of thing?

I'm getting one tomorrow for my sudden and awful sinus issues. I'm not super-claustrophobic, but I don't really like to put my head, say, under the bed, or the idea of those caves you have to wriggle through places to get through. I know I wouldn't enjoy an MRI. Is a CT scan the same sort of thing? (I just want to be prepared - I'm getting the thing whether I like it or not, this is the fourth sinus infection in six months and the second since Thanksgiving.)
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2009, 03:58 PM
WoodenTaco WoodenTaco is offline
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I had one about a month ago, and it was an open torus which you slide into on a moving bed like this. The machinery in the torus makes a loud sort of whirring sound and you are done in a few minutes.
I'm not claustrophobic at all so I can't tell you whether you'd get uncomfortable, but that's how it works.

Last edited by WoodenTaco; 01-05-2009 at 03:59 PM..
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:01 PM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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I'm not claustrophobic but was quite uncomfortable in a closed one I had several months ago, but they give you an emergency button to press if you have to have some relief, they will pull you out. My shoulders hit both sides of the thing. Might be a different device tho.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:05 PM
BrandonR BrandonR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodenTaco View Post
I had one about a month ago, and it was an open torus which you slide into on a moving bed like this.
Well, there goes my plan for developing a suppository simulator...
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2009, 04:22 PM
XT XT is offline
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Depends on which kind of unit you get. The short answer (IMHO) is: Yes.

-XT
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2009, 04:28 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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Deleted.

Last edited by suranyi; 01-05-2009 at 04:29 PM..
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2009, 05:23 PM
Cliffy Cliffy is offline
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I'm somewhat claustrophobic. I had one of my abdomen a few months ago in one of the open machines. It wasn't a comfortable experience, but it's nowhere near as bad as the MRI machines I've seen would have been. Of course, if it were my head in there instead of my gut, it would have been worse, but what carried me through is that, while constrictive, I could clearly get the fuck out within a few seconds if I needed to. Take deep breaths and you should be OK.

--Cliffy
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2009, 05:28 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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I'm claustrophobic to some degree and have had CT scans before. I survived. it's not like they tie you down so you can't get out.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2009, 05:40 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanzy
I'm not claustrophobic but was quite uncomfortable in a closed one I had several months ago, but they give you an emergency button to press if you have to have some relief, they will pull you out. My shoulders hit both sides of the thing. Might be a different device tho.
That was almost certainly an MRI, rather than a CT.

MRI scanners are somewhere between really snug and outright tight. They're also seriously loud - it's standard to give the patient some foam earplugs to cut down the volume of the banging and pounding noise. Another tell-tale indicator is that you'll be quizzed repeatedly about metal implants, aneurysm clips, body piercings, if you ever got metal shavings in your eyes, etc, as the magnet can violently remove these things from your body.

CT scanners are by comparison, as claustrophobic as a Hula Hoop, and make relatively little noise - just some clicking and whirring, and implanted metal is not a problem unless it's in a place that might interfere with the imaging. For example, you'd need to remove any nose piercings for a sinus scan as the jewelry would obscure the view of the sinuses.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2009, 05:44 PM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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I had one earlier this week, in fact, so I remember quite clearly what it was like. It was not a big deal at all (to be fair, I'm not remotely claustrophobic.)

They had me lie on a table and slowly pushed me through this donut-shaped tube--it was not all-encompassing and certainly not the length of my body. No more than one foot of my body was covered at any given moment.

(Here is what my machine looked like.)

I was on the table all of 5 minutes.

The only annoying thing was the preparation took 4 hours and I had to drink some stuff and then they injected dye into my veins, but honestly it was one of the least horrible medical procedures I've endured.

If your experience is anything like mine, I think you will be okay.

Last edited by Spice Weasel; 01-05-2009 at 05:45 PM..
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2009, 10:22 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanzy View Post
I'm not claustrophobic but was quite uncomfortable in a closed one I had several months ago, but they give you an emergency button to press if you have to have some relief, they will pull you out. My shoulders hit both sides of the thing. Might be a different device tho.
Sounds more like an MRI. A CT scan is more of a torus that you slide through, as WoodenTaco said - I had one for my sinuses about 15 years ago and aside from having to hold my head/neck at a somewhat uncomfortable angle, it was fine.
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2009, 10:34 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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A CT scan is nowhere near as confining as an MRI, unless it's some sort of very strange olde-skool CT scanner which I've never seen. I agree with gotpasswords; a CT scanner really is about as claustrophobic as a Hula Hoop. I had to watch two of them last month. :/
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2009, 03:08 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I got there ten minutes early and was out before my actual appointment time. It was a total non-big-deal - kind of an uncomfortable position, but mostly it was like being on a really cheesy science ride - "Step into the future!" with the whirring and the moving and stuff.
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2009, 03:34 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
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Bring a small mirror in the chamber with you if it's a closed unit. I've spent some time in claustophobic MRIs and the good ones have a little mirror you can look into. Not sure why, but looking in that little mirror takes away all the claustophobia, at least for me. ANd last time they let me bring an ipod in which also helped.
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  #15  
Old 01-06-2009, 03:55 PM
Enola Gay Enola Gay is offline
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On second thought they might not let you bring your own mirror so you'll have to ask. When I brought my ipod they had me listen to it thru these special headphones that didn't interfere with the equipment. Not sure if the mirror in there was special or not, but it sure did help.
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