TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka's Stormont-Vail has a new weapon in its diagnostic war chest.
It's a new MRI that combines the best of both worlds --- higher power and a more comfortable design.
When Stormont-Vail "opened" itself to upgrading its MRI offerings at its MRI Center of Kansas, it took the open approach.
Connie Wager, Stormont's director of medical imaging services, says quite a few patients struggle to have studies done in closed magnets because they're claustrophobic or experience anxiety. Also, people who are more overweight might feel more constricted or have a more difficult time maneuvering themselves in the machine.
The new MRI at the MRI Center of Kansas is not only the open design, unlike older open styles, the magnet is what's called "high field,' meaning it's stronger.
Dr. Johannes Heyns, the radiologist in charge at the MRI Center of ansas, says the new unit is about four times better than the older style open magnets. He says the images are comparable to those from the closed machines at Stormont's hospital facility.
Better images, he says, equate to better detection of potential problems.
The new MRI machine has a couple other advantages, too. Its table moves from side to side, allowing staff to reposition a patient in the center of the field by moving the table, rather than the patient, which can at time be difficult. It also is faster, conducting studies in half the time it took the older units.
People are invited to see the new machine and other improvements at the MRI Center of Kansas during an open house. It's from 4:30 to 6 pm Tuesday, November 13th, at the facility at 731 SW Mulvane.