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Yale Pioneers Stand-Up MRI



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Yale Pioneers Stand-Up MRI

NEW HAVEN — Yale-New Haven Ambulatory Services Corporation/Temple Radiology, at 40 Temple Street, has become the first Connecticut outpatient radiology department to use a new, revolutionary diagnostic approach to scanning patients with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which benefits both the patient and the doctor.

Traditional MRIs are either “open” or “closed.” Closed MRIs sometimes cause a patient to feel claustrophobic. In an open MRI, the patient is enclosed in a very small, tight, narrow space that has small openings on the sides.

 The new FONAR Upright™ MRI, from the company that invented, designed, and built the original MRI scanner, gives doctors and technicians a new and more effective method of pain detection and lets them diagnose patient problems as the patient experiences them. The new Upright MRI allows the patient to assume several positions — standing, sitting, bending, lying down or any position in-between — and when necessary, in the position that causes their pain. This helps staff pinpoint the exact origin or cause. The new technology permits the patient to experience an open-air scan while watching TV or resting comfortably. It is less claustrophobic than a traditional MRI scan where the patient lays down and is slid into the scanner.

“With this new technology, we can really hone in on the exact nature of the patient’s discomfort, which translates to better outcomes for our patients,” said Richard Knobleman, MD, medical director of the Yale-New Haven Ambulatory Services Corporation/Temple Radiology. “This is the only MRI that allows us to see a complete picture of the patient’s pathology when the patient is actually experiencing pain and discomfort. We are now seeing the problem in the position that causes the discomfort and in a weight-bearing position. The stand-up MRI now helps make surgery more accurate as well.”

Doctors, radiologists, and technicians agree that the new stand-up MRI is more versatile, plus it gives better pictures of what is going on inside the body. In addition, it also shows clearer images of the patients in the position of greatest discomfort, maximizing the likelihood of finding something wrong.

“The difference in this new technology is like night and day,” concluded Dr Knobleman. “Better and clearer reads on scans for the doctor means better diagnosis and outcomes for our patients, in a setting that makes the patient more comfortable and relaxed.”

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