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St. Mary Medical Center is First in the Nation to Offer Patients State-of-the-Art Open MRI Technology
New high-field open MRI model combines quality advanced imaging with patient comfort.

LANGHORNE, Pa., July 21, 2008 – St. Mary Medical Center today announced that it has invested more than $3 million to add a new, high-field truly open magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. St. Mary Imaging/Langhorne will be the first clinical site in the nation to offer this exciting new technology. The Hitachi OASIS is a state-of-the-art scanner that delivers outstanding image quality in an open system environment preferred by patients for its comfort and convenience.

The OASIS is unique, because it is an open MRI system that incorporates the capabilities of high-field strength imaging. Although open MRI systems have been in use since the early 1990s, most physicians prefer the higher resolution of diagnostic images obtained in high-field strength MRIs. High-field strength MRIs typically have an enclosed circle design within which a magnet rotates, and for many patients, this tunnel-like experience can be source of anxiety and discomfort. Open MRI systems were designed to alleviate feelings of claustrophobia and increase patient comfort, yet until now, could not quite match the level of image quality offered by a high-field system.

The high-field open MRI is a breakthrough in advanced technology that successfully accommodates patient comfort and produces high-quality diagnostic information for every region of the body. The wide-table design also better accommodates obese, pediatric and limited-mobility patients, including the elderly or infirm. In addition, the high-field open unit offers fast scan times and motion-compensation technology for clearer imaging. A variety of specialized coils are used for advanced detailed studies of the brain, spine, shoulders, legs, breast, neurovascular and abdomen.

This new high-field open MRI technology offers patients and physicians the best of both worlds, notes Dr. Daniel Cohen, St. Mary Medical Director of MRI. “As technology has continued to progress, the differences in image quality and patient comfort have been minimized. We can now offer patients the security of a spacious design for added comfort during scans while simultaneously providing the most accurate scan results to aid physicians in their diagnoses,” Cohen says.

Magnetic resonance imaging is an advanced diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to produce detailed three-dimensional images of body organs and structures without the use of x-ray or other radiation. Detailed images of the brain, spine, joints, pelvis, abdomen and chest are useful for soft-tissue injuries and conditions often associated with cancer, stroke, heart and vascular disease, or sports trauma.

MRI is just one hallmark of the significant growth in advanced imaging technologies provided through St. Mary Imaging. Digital radiology and mammography, PET-CT, 64-slice Cardiac CT, ultrasound and bone density Dexa Scans also are used for diagnosis. In addition, all imaging studies at St. Mary are conveniently accessible to physicians and medical staff through a computerized Picture Archival and Communications System (PACS). In 2006, St. Mary expanded access to diagnostic imaging in opening an offsite imaging center to better serve the needs of the community. St. Mary Imaging/Richboro, in the Richboro Shopping Center, provides diagnostic MRI and CT scanning services for outpatients requiring imaging studies.

St. Mary Imaging is a full-service department that performs more than 250,000 procedures each year. St. Mary Imaging is accredited by the American College of Radiology, a national quality indicator. In addition, all technologists are nationally certified and all studies are read by board-certified radiologists. “St. Mary offers patients a high standard of excellence across the board, and this is another example of our commitment to quality care and patient safety. Patients can rest assured knowing that their primary care physicians and specialists are getting the most accurate information with which to make a diagnosis,” says Dr. Paul Weiser, St. Mary Medical Center Director of Radiology.

Most insurance coverage is accepted at St. Mary Imaging, but pre-certification may be required. Walk-ins are accepted with insurance approval. To schedule an appointment, please call Centralized Scheduling at 215.710.2208.