Thursday, May 20, 2010

Large Bore MRI Now Available at Fauquier Hospital

Fauquier Health is the first in the area to offer the large bore MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) system that offers a much wider bore (opening) for larger or claustrophobic patients. The new MRI was available for the first time on Sunday, May 16, and the response from patients was overwhelming.

Dr. James Koepke, diagnostic radiologist for
Virginia Radiology Associates, is enthusiastic about the new equipment. “This is going to be terrific for the community. Now, folks who are uncomfortable in a traditional MRI don’t have to travel long distances to have a wide bore MRI. And the Sunday time slot is going to be great, especially for those who work long hours in D.C.”

MRI uses radio waves to produce images of the brain and body. It can reveal delicate structures in the spinal chord, the head and brain, the soft tissues around and in joints and many other organs such as kidneys and liver.

Before wide bore technology, patients too large to fit inside the opening of a high-field MRI magnet would have their imaging exam performed in an MRI system that used low- field strength magnets, and therefore received lower-quality images.

Claustrophobic patients present another challenge for MRI systems. The open bore allows for maximum space between the magnet and the patient’s head. And with the shortest front to back magnet width, most of the exam is done with the patient’s head clear of the magnet area. This high-quality scan takes significantly less time than other open MRI systems, so patients are in and out faster.

The large bore MRI is available at Fauquier Hospital every Sunday. The medical imaging department offers conventional MRI technology as well, which can accommodate most patients.

If your doctor orders an MRI, you can call Fauquier Health to schedule the large bore MRI at 540-316-5800.

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