St. Mary's Hospital: New imaging machine will save lives

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

A new state-of-the-art imaging machine has made its way to St. Mary's Hospital. Health officials say the 3T MRI scanner will help save lives.

In a world where treating medical conditions gets more and more complex, doctors say having the best and most advanced tools at their disposal is essential to saving lives. The staff at St. Mary's Hospital hopes the newest addition to their radiology department will help doctors do just that.

"It's possible to see things with this machine that other machines might miss," said Gary Tiedtke, MRI Clinical Resource Specialist at St. Mary's Hospital.

The new 3 Tesla, or 3T, MRI scanner uses magnetic fields to produce computer images of just about anything inside the body. The $2.8 million piece of equipment is twice as strong as a normal MRI scanner, pushing enough magnetic force to lift a pair of scissors and even keep a non-magnetic sheet of aluminum from tipping over.

"We can do a higher detail imaging and get a better diagnosis with it," said Tiedtke.

And Tiedtke says a better diagnosis and clearer picture means a better treatment.

"For the unfortunate patient who has a brain tumor, we can help the neurosurgeon with the surgical planning by showing them where the nerves are going around the tumor," said Tiedtke. "That way they can avoid those things."

St. Mary's has been using the new device for about 4 weeks and says it's already making a difference.

"To see the images come of this machine, it's incredible," said Tiedtke. We can really do some amazing stuff."

Just one of many more things to come, they say, that will improve the quality of health care in the Grand Valley and save lives.

"Not only saving lives, but helping patients to recover faster and have a better surgical outcome," said Tiedtke.

The 3T MRI scanner is the first in Western Colorado and one of 11 across Colorado.

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