MRI scan

I have asked a similar question on the nurses section but wonder whether anyone here can tell me where your arms are in the scAnner. I have been told I will be on my front but have a majorly stiff and painful shoulder so panicking as to how I’ll cope. As you can see by the time of this post my concoction of night time pills has failed tonight and once again I’m unable to switch off to sleep! Any experiences would be appreciated.

Morning EJM60

Sorry you had such a sleepless night. I remember feeling sick with nerves before I had mine too.

If it’s a breast mri you will be positioned on a bed with your breasts hanging into a well (lots of cushioning around them) and your arms to the front of you. The position was fairly comfortable and the technician tool lots of time to make sure I was comfortable before starting the process. You also have a ‘buzzer’ in your hand that you can press at any moment to stop if needed.

Best of luck for today.

Jo x

Distraction definitley helps Jane! I work part time and have 4 children so don’t really have 5 mins to stop and think about it all…which is probably a good thing :slight_smile:

Maybe ring and speak to your breast care nurse and explain your worries, there may be something they can do or suggest to make it more comfortable for you.

Best of luck for tomorrow.

Hi EJM, I was also concerned about this when I had mine done a few months ago as I’ve got a painful shoulder and I’m sure I was given the option of having them either by my side or above my head. I opted to have them above my head as I find that a more comfortable position when lying down.  I was dreading having to stay still for so long but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I had headphones on and listened to a CD which drowned out the noise of the machine.  Hope all goes well. Michelle x

Hi. Mine were down by my side (with a buzzer in hand and cannula and the line connected to the contrast in the other hand).

hi ejm,
I had my arms down by my sides during my breast mri - somewhat a surreal experience!
they will make sure you’re comfortable & you will have a buzzer if needed.
ann x

Thank you for the replies. I feel somewhat reassured - love this forum, there’s always someone about with reassurance. I hope further down the line I can offer others the same support that I’m getting. 

Jane x

Positive reply to all who need MRI. I was so apprehensive but the actual scan was fine. I’m claustrophobic but found lying on my front so much easier than previous scans when I was aware how closed in it was.  Arrived at 8am to find the unit locked and no one round with a key - 2 radiologists from a different hospital who knew nothing about the unit!  Eventually got in, got undressed to the waist, given the two cod liver oil capsules to tape to my nipples (thank you to whoever on here posted about this so I was pre warned!), then onto a bed to have the cannula fitted. It took 8 attempts to find a vein so I’m black and blue from my elbow to fingers, especially on one hand, but after all this I found the scan fine.


After this my husband suggested we take a trip to our nearest private hospital just to view the facilities.  Embarrassingly I broke down on entering the radiotherapy unit - it just made my situation feel too real, but the staff were amazing.  They talked us through the admin side and then the radiologist explained the whole process - it was a lovely calm place and it has made my mind up that whatever other path I go down I will certainly have the radiotherapy privately.


had a bit of a weepy afternoon as I had asked my boss to tell the staff at work today while I was out and I’ve had some amazingly supportive messages.  Just think reality is starting to hit home.


I would agree that if you have an mri on your front (which seems to be the case for bc) it is not as half claustrophobic as lying in your back which I had some years ago for a slipped disc and was much more traumatic. Good luck Jane with your treatment. Rebecca xx