Large Bore MRI in Virginia | Sentara Healthcare
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Large Bore MRI 

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Large Bore MRI imaging is offered at four imaging centers within Hampton Roads. A trained technician will perform your exam, which will later be interpreted by a radiologist. Your health care team is prepared to answer any questions you have before, during and after your exam.

About Large Bore MRI Scans

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a safe and painless way of imaging the internal structures and functions of the body.

Large bore MRIs work well for larger patients or those with claustrophobia and produces the same high quality, detailed images as a traditional MRI.

Sentara offers the region's first 3T large bore MRI, the most powerful MRI with open-bore design currently available. 

What is a Large Bore MRI?
Video: Patient Testimonial: Patients talk about the large Bore MRI

A large bore MRI is the same diagnostic machine as a traditional MRI only with a larger bore for greater patient comfort. The large 70 cm (27.6 inch) opening provides an open feel without compromising image quality.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)  is a safe and painless way of imaging the internal structures and functions of the body.

MRI has much greater soft tissue contrast than computed tomography (CT), making it especially useful in neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and oncological diseases. Unlike CT, it does not use X-rays.

3T Large Bore MRI
Sentara offers the region's first 3T MRI the most powerful MRI with large-bore design currently available. The powerful magnet of the 3T large bore MRI provides superior images that are especially helpful for neurology, neurosurgery and urology.

The visualization of exceptional details, fine morphology and brilliant resolution can help you diagnose and evaluate response to treatment earlier than ever before. The 3T large bore MRI is located at the Advanced Imaging Center - First Colonial in Virginia Beach.

What can an MRI tell my doctor?
Detailed MRI images allow physicians to better evaluate parts of the body and certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods such as X-ray, ultrasound or computed tomography (CT).

MRI scans can be used to evaluate:
The brain and spinal cord, including their blood supplies
Organs of the chest, abdomen and pelvis — including the heart, liver, biliary tract, kidney, spleen, and pancreas and adrenal glands
Pelvic organs including the reproductive organs- prostate, testicles, uterus, cervix and ovaries.
 Bones and joints

Physicians use MRI scans to help diagnose or monitor treatment for conditions such as: 
Stroke, headache, memory loss/dementia, seizures, multiple sclerosis, spine disorders and other diseases of the nervous system
Tumors of the chest, abdomen or pelvis
Coronary artery disease and heart problems
Causes of pelvic pain in women, such as endometriosis
Diseases of the liver
Conditions involving the bile duct, gallbladder and pancreatic ducts (MRCP)
Breast cancer and implants

How do I prepare for my exam?
Generally, no preparation is necessary for an MRI scan. If your physician gives you a script or films, please bring them to your appointment. Unless otherwise instructed, you may eat or drink before the exam and continue your normal activities afterward. If your exam is scheduled with sedation, please check with your physician or the MRI department for further instructions.

Open MRIIt is very important for us to know if you have any metal in your body before your MRI scan is performed. The MRI uses a very strong magnet that may create movement of certain metal objects in your body.

In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients for metal implants, except for a few types.

People with the following implants cannot be scanned and should not enter an MRI scanning area unless explicitly instructed to do so by a radiologist or technologist who is aware of the presence of any of the following:

Pacemaker or Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (AICD)
Some types of metal coils placed within blood vessels.
Any implanted mechanical or electrical device (i.e. cochlear or stapes ear implant, magnetic dentures, spinal stimulator, etc.)
Some types of brain aneurysm clips

Knowing the make and model of the implanted device is helpful.

Also, let your physician know if you are claustrophobic, are pregnant or think you could be pregnant.

How is a large bore MRI performed?
With a shorter and wider magnet bore, most patients are able to enter the large bore MRI feet first and often have their heads outside of the magnet during the study. The large bore MRI machine generates radio waves that record signals from the body's atoms; the machine then transforms these signals into images.

Large bore MRI exams take between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on which part of the body your doctor wants to examine. During your scan, you will hear a rhythmic tapping sound. This is the normal sound of the magnetic fields as it scans. You may receive an IV (intravenous) injection of a contrast agent to enhance a particular body structure.

Are there risks?
The large bore MRI examination poses almost no risk to the average patient. The strong magnetic field is not harmful, but some implanted medical devices that contain metal may malfunction or cause problems during a large bore MRI exam. Please speak to your physician about any concerns.

How will I find out the results?
Your large bore MRI scan is supervised and interpreted by a sub-specialized radiologist, a physician specially trained in reading MRI scans and other diagnostic images. The radiologist will interpret the findings of your MRI and prepare a report for your referring physician. You should receive the results from the physician who sent you for your diagnostic study

Large Bore MRI Locations
Advanced Imaging Center - BelleHarbour
Advanced Imaging Center - First Colonial, Virginia Beach
Advanced Imaging Center - Independence
Advanced Imaging Center - Sentara Port Warwick, Newport News 
Advanced Imaging Center, Sentara Princess Anne, Virginia Beach
Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center

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