Since its creation in the 1970s, the MRI scan has been providing more than just images for patients and doctors. Magnetic resonance imaging gets its appeal because images of the internal organs are easy to acquire through without incisions and without radiation exposure. Because of these reasons, MRI technology has been utilized beyond its earlier diagnostic purposes and has been outfitted to perform new tasks.
Most recently, in southern California at the UC San Diego Health System, the first MRI guided brain surgery was performed in real-time. The patient has Parkinson’s disease and was having a deep brain stimulator implanted. DBS implantations are done in order to give the body electric stimulation in effort to calibrate the brain’s electrical systems that may be complicated by diseases like Parkinson’s and MS.
This procedure in San Diego is the first of it’s kind. Usually patients are placed under anesthesia but are awake for the procedure. However, this method can be “exhausting” because of procedure’s length and the need to perform testing in the operating room. However, thanks to the technology of the MRI scan, surgeons are able to place the device with continuous real-time MRI monitoring all while the patient is sleeping. MRIs have long been used to guide biopsies and other small surgeries but this new venture into brain surgery could create a world of difference for both the patients undergoing surgery but the physicians that have to perform them.
Other ways that MRIs are being used for innovation are for cancer research and diagnosis. Behind heart disease, cancer is the leading cause of death among people over 30 globally. The benefit that MRI holds for this kind of research is that there is no radiation exposure. In one recent study, multi-parametric MRI has been extremely instrumental for detecting prostate cancer. Among American men, prostate cancer is the most common cancer. And because prostate cancer doesn’t cause other health problems like most cancers, most men aren’t aware they have it.
Multiparametric MRI has been proven to have greater sensitivity for areas where lesions exist and helping to guide biopsies or even eliminate unnecessary biopsies. This will benefit doctors in identifying those patients that might be high risk for prostate cancer.
MRIs can offer a host of benefits for all those seeking health answers. Everyone from athletes, to cancer patients, to brain surgeons use MRI technology in one way or another to help their patients or to gain more information about diseases and the body’s processes.
Doctors Imaging in Metairie is proud to offer our patients the advanced technology of the 3T MRI, the most powerful clinical MRI on the market as well as MRI services on Saturdays when most doctors offices and imaging facilities are closed. For more information on our MRI capabilities, including the new MRI Concussion Program, please visit the MRI Service Page or call our offices at 504-833-8111 to speak to a representative.