iMRI technology provides a number of benefits to the adult and pediatric patient.
Getting a picture of the brain at the start of surgery confirms placement of the initial incision. Without iMRI, the neurosurgeon bases the decision on MRI or CT pictures obtained hours or even days before surgery. If the brain or fluid around it shifts, the surgeon must rely on skill and instinct, which often results in larger incisions, more extensive surgery and longer operating time.
Aggressive Removal of Brain Tumors
The iMRI allows more aggressive removal of brain tumors. The naked eye cannot always distinguish the tumor from normal brain tissue, and the tumor may not be completely removed. In traditional surgery, neurosurgeons may remove more brain tissue than is needed. By minimizing removal or damage of healthy brain tissue around the tumor using the iMRI, our surgeons may help patients avoid cognitive or physical disabilities following surgery.
Recent studies show that iMRI revealed a residual tumor in one third of cases where surgeons thought the tumor had been completely removed. Surgeons were then able to completely remove the tumor avoiding the possibility of a second surgery.
Advantages for Renal Cryoablation and Liver Tumor RF Ablation
The benefits of percutaneous renal cryoablation and percutaneous radio frequency ablation of liver tumors are many. Compared to traditional surgery, that might require an incision of up to four inches, there is far less bleeding, a lower risk of infection, and much more rapid recovery.
Advantages in Diagnosis
The system provides advantages in diagnosis as well as treatment. The open design of the iMRI provides free space above and to the side of the patient, permitting claustrophobic patients to undergo an exam without feelings of anxiety in a higher field (and thus better image quality) system than most open scanners.
Patients can also be imaged in positions that cause their discomfort and present a better chance for the radiologist to diagnose their condition. The system is equipped with a variable-position chair so that portions of the patient's spine can be imaged while supporting the patient's weight. Cervical spine images with the patient's head tilted forward and back have become a routine exam for patients with suspected neck pathology and have demonstrated conditions not seen with MR images taken on a standard scanner with the head in one position. It is also possible for patients to stand up on their feet in the scanner, and a number of patients have had their knees imaged at varying degrees of flexion. Finally, the ability to image other joints at varying angles has been employed to better understand impingement syndrome in the shoulder.