New MRI Scanner at SAMC

The Southeast Alabama Medical Center has a new MRI officials are saying is different from the rest.

News 4's Deborah Tuff had the chance to test out the new machine, and she writes about her experience:

The routine was similar to any other scan. I had to take off my jewelry and was asked a few medical questions.

You could say I served as a guinea pig of sorts for a new ultra short board MRI machine the Southeast Alabama Medical Center Radiology Department recently purchased.

After placing me on the board, they put a mirror over my eyes so I could watch the technicians who were scanning me, which is good because I can't stand tight spaces.

Officials with the medical center say one thing you'll notice about this new machine is its size. In the past, some patients probably couldn't handle the tight space, but the new machine won't be a problem.

Mike Williams with the SAMC Radiology Department said, "In actuality, in terms of diameter, [it’s] as large as a CATSCAN. The idea is to reduce the feelings of claustrophobia."

There are a total of three, new MRI machines. One will be taken away and the ultra short board will replace that one.

Therefore, that machine, which is 70 diameters in length, will team up with an older machine that's 55 centimeters.

"Patients will be able to have their MRI done on a high field magnet instead of an open magnet,” Williams explains. “By doing that they're giving our physicians much better images.”

And, with calm music playing, the process, which took 30 minutes didn't seem that long.

"It was easy; now to see what showed up on my scans," Williams said.

Needless to say, it turns out I have a healthy brain.

The radiology department will begin using the new MRI next week.

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