Flowers Hospital adds upgraded MRI machine

The 3T MRI is expected to be ready to use by the end of June.
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:13 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Flowers Hospital received a delivery early Tuesday morning, that costs them over one million dollars, a 3 Tesla MRI machine.

“In the past we have been using a 1.5 Tesla magnet and that’s just the strength of the magnet, this is double that strength, it is a 3 Tesla Magnet,” Dr. James Fernandez, radiologist, said.

The 16,000 pound delivery made its way to the facility. One of the best benefits Dr. Fernandez said about this machine is it comes with a bigger and more powerful magnet.

“The fact that it is a 3 Tesla magnet means that our images come out much better in terms of how we can interpret and diagnose conditions,” Dr. Fernandez said. “So we are very excited in terms of a radiologist standpoint because we are going to get much higher quality images to review.”

Flowers Hospital has a new tool which provides more complex imaging.

“Cardiac imaging and prostate imaging in particular are two of the things that we can now offer in this hospital,” Dr. Fernandez said.

The 3T MRI has several assets that can benefit a patients experience. This machine is quicker, has a larger opening compared to other machines, the scanning noise is reduced with a memory foam pillow, and there is also video and audio communication abilities that can help patients remain relaxed and at ease during their scan.

“Often times these scans can take several minutes and so reducing that time allows the patient to get on and off of the table much faster,” Dr. Fernandez said.

Flowers Hospital is now one of the few hospitals in the Southeast which offers the 3T MRI.

“With our patient population there is a significant backlog in how quickly we can get these scans through,” Dr. Fernandez said. “Now that we have another option here, it allows for patients another option so that they don’t have to wait to get these important scans done.”

Dr. Fernandez said if a patients has some sort of medical device implanted, there is a chance they may not get the 3T magnet for safety reasons.

The 3T MRI is expected to be ready to use by the end of June.

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