Patients at the Little Company of Mary (LCM) Hospital can look forward to a much less traumatising experience during their next MRI scan.
The new Ingenia 3.0 Tesla MRI system recently installed at the Pretoria-based hospital promises to make these scans a breeze for both doctors and patients.
Complete with ambient lighting and soothing music, the machine is equipped to help patients relax.
“The Philips 3.0 Tesla imaging system enables better image quality and faster imaging protocols. And it lessens patient movement and distress during examination.
“It also provides a wide range of new and advanced applications, which were not previously possible,” said Dr Mark Velleman, leading radiologist and specialist in musculoskeletal imaging at LCM.
The device is the first digital MRI machine in the country, allowing for the entire spine to be scanned in one examination. The machine even has a pause function, which enables doctors to correct a patient’s position during such an examination.
MRI (or magnetic resonance imaging) is a medical scan using magnets and low-energy radio waves to produce image slices of the body. MRI scans are used to detect anatomical abnormalities without operating on a patient.
Various ailments, such as torn ligaments, brain tumours, cancers and tendonitis can be detected with an MRI scan.
“Different options were considered, but we eventually decided on this system. It delivers improved image quality as a result of digital RF and broadband MR technology. This improves image clarity and speed, with a wide range of diagnostic applications.
“Further factors, such as the wide bore of the magnet, as well as the calming effects of ambient lighting in the examination room, are added benefits for patient comfort,” said Velleman.
Patients from other clinics and hospitals are often referred to LCM for these services, so the new system’s impact will reach beyond this particular hospital.
“The oncology community will benefit through increased image clarity and the capabilities now possible – with specific regard to the abdomen and pelvis, and whole body diffusion imaging, as well as breast and prostate imaging,” said Velleman.
He said that the new machine would take MR imaging a step further, with new and advanced applications in neurospinal diagnostics, musculo-skeletal imaging and whole-body imaging.