It’s 3T Time at RMGSCC: A Faster, Better, More Comfortable MRI

Patients can relax and breathe easy with the most advanced and widest 3T MRI in Santa Cruz County

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is some of the coolest, most advanced technology around. This radiation-free medical imaging uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create amazing images of the brain, spine, blood vessels, muscles, bones and other organs and soft tissue. These images help doctors find disease or injury and plan treatment.

But what may seem “cool” and amazing for some has, in the past, been a frightening experience for other patients due to anxiety and claustrophobia associated with older MRI technology. Radiology Medical Group of Santa Cruz County (RMGSCC) can help patients overcome these problems with the installation of the new GE SIGNA™ Pioneer 3T MRI in its newly renovated MRI suite.

“This advanced technology gives patients the widest opening and best images of any MRI in the entire region,” said RMGSCC radiologist Roy Martinez, M.D. “We believe that diagnostic imaging doesn’t have to be stressful, and we’re keeping that philosophy in place with a new MRI that is more open and can accommodate patients of various sizes to help reduce anxiety and claustrophobia.”

3T stands for 3 Tesla. That’s the strength of the magnetic field in an MRI machine. MRI strengths in most imaging centers and hospitals today range from .2 to 3.0. In general, the higher the “T”, the higher the image quality.

Until recently, there was a trade-off between image quality and wider MRI openings. The wider the opening, the weaker the magnetic field, resulting in poorer quality images. The SIGNA Pioneer 3T at RMGSCC is from a new generation of MRIs called “high-field” that have a more powerful magnetic field and wider opening with no loss in image quality.

“In fact, the image quality is much better, scans take less time, and there is less anxiety, more room and more comfort for the patient,” said Dr. Martinez. “It’s the most advanced MRI technology in the entire region, and it’s right here in Santa Cruz County.”

The Pioneer 3T has an opening ¬– or bore – that is 70 cm, or about 27.5 inches in diameter. That’s about 4 inches greater diameter than other 3T MRIs and up to 20 percent larger than older MRI machines. For patients who are larger or claustrophobic, that can make a huge difference in comfort. With research showing that worldwide, about two million MRI scans are cancelled or terminated before completion each year due to claustrophobia, the wider openings could have a very positive impact.

Other patient advantages of the Pioneer 3T include:

  • Shorter breath holds
  • Faster scan times
  • Quieter operation
  • No endorectal coil insertion required for prostate MRI exams
  • Most exams can be performed with the patient’s head outside the MRI tunnel

So, if it’s been a while since you’ve had an MRI – or have had one recently but it was on outdated equipment – make sure to check out our new 3T MRI, the most advanced and widest 3T MRI in Santa Cruz County.

At RMGSCC, we believe that diagnostic imaging doesn’t have to be stressful, and we work to help create the best patient experience possible. If your doctor refers you for an MRI or other imaging procedure, you’ll benefit from fast, flexible scheduling with results often given to your doctor within 24 hours. For more information visit our MRI page or call 831-476-7711.

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