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Taking a Closer Look with an MRI: April 6, 2019

From pain to an injury, to sudden onset symptoms, imaging technology at Lee Health can offer physicians an inside look to find the problem.  “The most common reason is pain. They come in from injuries, sports injuries, working in the yard, then also age-related injuries or just age-related ailments,” said Peter Kouba, an MRI technologist with Lee Health.

Patients are often referred for an MRI to get a definitive look at soft tissue, cartilage, and ligaments. “It gives us a higher resolution, so it gives the radiologist more finite answers and helps the patient with their healing path quicker,” said Kouba.

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. It uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to generate images of the organs in the body. “We have the newest scanners in Southwest Florida. Its broadband technology with fibrotic, which increases the signal. Our images are high definition. So it would be like looking at your TV screen from 20 years ago versus your high-def today, and that’s the difference with these scanners,” explained Kouba.

But unlike ultrasounds, CT scans, and x-rays, MRI’s can take up to 40 minutes. A patient is put into the machine where they must lie perfectly still so technicians can capture the right image. “We offer them a call bell if they need anything or need to contact us they can call us with a call bell,” he said.

Patients at select facilities can also pick music or a movie to help lessen the anxiety.  “At Surfside and at Golisano Children’s Hospital we have cinema goggles, so the patients can wear goggles that lay over their eyes that block out all the outside space and they just focus on the movie and enjoy that while they are in there,” said Kouba.

The distraction can help decrease the claustrophobia and increase the success of the imaging. The state of the art equipment can help patients get the treatment they need.


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