Imaging System Provides More Comfort, Less Confinement For Glens Falls Hospital Patients
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is said to be one of the most valuable tools available to doctors for the diagnosis of neurological, orthopedic, and cancer conditions.
Glens Falls Hospital officials said they have taken that value to the next level with the addition of a new, enhanced MRI system that offers higher-quality images, faster exam times and greater patient comfort and convenience, particularly for people bothered by feelings of claustrophobia.
The hospital recently invested more than $1.5 million to purchase and install the Siemens MAGNETOM Aera 1.5 T MRI System in its newly renovated MRI Suite located in the Medical Imaging Department on the first floor of the West Wing. The new system replaces an older MRI unit that was housed in the basement of the Pruyn Pavilion. MRI is a non-invasive imaging technology that uses powerful magnets and radiofrequency currents to produce three-dimensional, detailed anatomical images without the use of radiation.
“A fast, accurate diagnosis is the first important step in achieving the best possible medical outcome for a patient,” said Edward Hanchett, senior director of medical imaging. “This is an investment that will truly make a difference for doctors and their patients every day.”
The new system features enhanced imaging technology, which generates a more detailed picture of soft tissue, bone and muscle and does so faster than the former technology — meaning shortened exam times for patients. Officials said it will especially help advance our diagnostic services for oncology patients and the breast center.
According to the hospital, the system also greatly reduces the claustrophobic concern that some people have with MRI. The MAGNETOM Aera has a wider and shorter open bore—the tube-like structure where the patient lies—so that the person is less confined during the imaging process. In many instances, the exam can be performed with the patient’s head entirely outside of the bore.
Further adding to the patient’s comfort, the “knocking” sound associated with this type of imaging is quieter, and the machine has a built-in audio system so that people can listen to their choice of music during the exam, officials said.
“MRI imaging is essential to timely diagnosis and treatment of stroke and to the goal of creating a stroke center at Glens Falls Hospital,” said Dr. Richard Jackson of Glens Falls Neurology. “Keeping current equipment with modern technology is one of our primary goals in order to provide the highest quality diagnostic and treatment care possible.”
The magnet portion of the new machine weighs 10,000 pounds, and had to be lifted above the West Wing and lowered into its new home by crane. It was put into operation on May 7.
Patients in need of an MRI can ask their primary care physician or specialist for a referral to the Glens Falls Hospital Medical Imaging Department. The exam will be administered by one of the hospital’s licensed MRI technologists. The resulting images will be read by a radiologist with the hospital’s radiology partner, Adirondack Radiology Associates, who will consult with the referring physician regarding the diagnosis if needed.
To schedule an appointment for Glens Falls Hospital’s new MRI system, call Centralized Scheduling at (518) 926-5333.