Sentara Bayside Hospital Offers Area's Only High Strength Open MRI
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Sentara Bayside Hospital Offers Area's Only High Strength Open MRI 

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 Video: Patient Testimonials
Patients talk about the open MRI

October 18, 2006 - Virginia Beach, VA - Larger patients or those with claustrophobia who may have dreaded having an MRI or magnetic resonance imaging before now have another option. Sentara Bayside Hospital offers Hampton Roads strongest, open MRI.

"Previous open MRIs just haven't offered an advantage to the majority of patients. Either their design allowed for patients to move, creating blurred images or their magnets were too weak to provide the detail necessary for precise diagnoses," says Kurt Hofelich, vice president of Sentara Imaging Services. "This one is different," he continued.

With a magnet more than twice as strong as other area open MRIs (1.5 Tesla), this machine creates higher quality images that are read by the same subspecialized radiologist that interpret images at other Sentara hospitals. Not only for claustrophobic patients, this MRI can accommodate larger patients who weigh up to 550 pounds.

'Get me out of here'  were words Richard Cole used during a recent attempt to get images in a traditional MRI.

"I wear a 46-inch coat, and the previous MRI seemed to be made for very small children. My shoulders were squeezed, my body touched the sides, and my nose was touching the plastic plate," he said.

Cole, who is not only a large man but also claustrophobic said, "The new MRI is much larger. If you keep your eyes closed, you can feel its roomier, and you even get to listen to reggae through headsets."

The cylinder of Sentara's newest MRI machine is shorter only about four feet and much wider, creating a more open feel. Patients enter this MRI feet first, and most procedures do not require a patients head to enter the super-sized cylinder. In few cases when a patients head will enter the cylinder, increased clearance of 12 inches around the patient, offers more breathing room than ever.

Patients are now being scheduled for the industry's (and areas) strongest open MRI. Anyone interested in this option should call either Medical Appointment Solutions at 388-5768 or Sentara Central Scheduling at 388-2030.

About MRIs
MRI or magnetic resonance imaging uses a magnetic field and radio waves to take pictures of internal organs, the brain and other soft tissue without using X-rays. MRI is frequently used to diagnose a broad range of conditions including cancer, heart and vascular disease, stroke, and joint and musculoskeletal disorders or sports-related injuries.

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