New High-Field Open MRI Now Online at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton
Posted Date: 10/19/2011
Tanner Health System’s newest diagnostic imaging service is now open – wide open.
The health system’s new Open MRI is now in service, affording a new level of comfort for overweight patients, the elderly and small children.
The traditional MRI systems with which most people are familiar require patients to lie down inside a tube while images are taken. The new Philips High-Field Open MRI system in the Patient Services building at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton features a broad, nearly 360-degree opening.
Mechanical installation crews spent weeks setting up the new Open MRI system, which required ripping a truck-sized hole in a wall of a building on the Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton campus and using a crane to move a 10-ton magnet that makes up the core of the system.
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. Unlike other medical diagnostic imaging procedures that often use X-rays and radiation, MRI systems use a powerful magnetic field and computers to produce clear images of the body’s anatomical structures.
An MRI might be used to diagnose an orthopedic problem, such as a torn rotator cuff in a shoulder that is causing pain. But it also might be used to diagnose cancer.
“Open MRI has been available for years, but the image quality was traditionally pretty poor and a lot of physicians stopped using it,” said David Thornhill, director of diagnostic imaging at Tanner. “But this system uses high-field technology, which means it has a much stronger magnet and will be able to produce images comparable in quality to those you’d get from a traditional, closed MRI system.”
Tanner Health System President and CEO Loy Howard said that installing the new Open MRI system at Tanner will help the health system better serve people in west Georgia.
“Our goal is to make diagnostic imaging accessible and convenient for people in our region,” said Howard. “This new Open MRI is another tool we have to help improve the health of the communities we serve by keeping health care close to home. High-field Open MRI systems like the one at Tanner are rare, but for people who need them, they’re a blessing.”
In addition to the new Open MRI, traditional MRI services are available at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica and Higgins General Hospital in Bremen.
Patients should discuss with their physician whether or not an Open MRI screening at Tanner is right for them. To schedule an MRI at any of Tanner’s facilities, have a physician’s order at hand and call 770.836.9721. To find a physician on Tanner’s medical staff, call 770.214.CARE (2273). More information on diagnostic imaging services and a complete physician directory are available online at www.tanner.org.