Shorter wait times with new MRI in Valley

Patients needing a magnetic resonance imaging scan are expected to have a shorter wait, following the installation of a new machine at Latrobe Regional Hospital.

The MRI was crane-lifted in to Regional Imaging’s clinic at the hospital on Tuesday morning as a replacement for the previous mobile service.

Appointments will now be available seven days a week rather than five, equating to about 40 additional patients who can be scanned each week, according to Regional Imaging Gippsland.

“It is now anticipated that most scans will be able to be accommodated within days,” Regional Imaging Gippsland acting regional manager Kade Joske said.

The Philips Ingenia 3T, digital broadband MRI is considered state-of-the-art with exceptional image clarity and is expected to reduce exam times.

It has a 70cm-wide opening for patients of varying size, age and physical condition, with many scans able to be performed with the patient’s head entirely out of the opening, making it easier for those who suffer claustrophobia or anxiety.

MRI lets doctors see inside a patient’s body to identify and diagnose a wide variety of possible medical conditions, without exposure to ionizing radiation.

It uses a powerful magnet, radio waves and special coils to detect electrical signals from the body and a computer turns the information into detailed images.

A referral from a medical practitioner is required for all MRI scans.

Appointments can be made by phoning Regional Imaging on 1800 888 669.