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Extremity MRI Scanner eases patient fears

Extremity MRI Scanner

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Mountain View Hospital in Idaho Falls has a new MRI scanner which gives patients a more comfortable experience to get necessary scans.

The extremity MRI scanner was added to the hospital Friday and is the only one in the state with the same strength of magnet as a full-sized scanner.

The benefit of the extremity MRI is that patients can have scans of their arms or legs without having to put their entire body through the MRI machine.

Radiologist Dr. Jason Lance said it is a huge benefit for patients.

"So we can put elbows, knees, wrists and ankles. We have a number of patients who can't tolerate the regular MRI. They can't sit still or they get claustrophobic so we're able to provide this option to them to get the study done. A normal MRI is a very confined space, it is very loud and the extremity machine can let people sit in a chair, sit comfortable for an extended period of time and we can get comparable images like we do with the large MRI," said Lance.

Director of ancillary services at Mountain View Hospital, Casey Jackman, said the hospital sees between 16 and 20 patients a day who get an MRI and there is a backlog.

"Yeah it allows us to see more patients," said Jackman.

He said the half-million dollar machine was a need for the hospital and a cost saving choice.

"This was an opportunity for us to be able to put a second MRI in the hospital without adding onto the hospital," said Jackman.

Lance said the image quality can also be better since patients are more comfortable.

"They come in and they sit, they're bale to sit and listen to music or read a book rather than being in a tight confined space," said Lance.

The extremity MRI scanner also makes it a lot easier for kids who need scans because they're not as scared and it's easier for them to hold still.

Patients who need scans of the head or neck will still have to go through the full-sized MRI.

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