Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
JCMVAMC Now Offering MRI Services
The Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center began offering on-site magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services for the first time in December in the hospital’s newly constructed MRI Suite, a 5,400 square-foot facility located at the North end of the medical center.
Along with performing MRI exams for outpatients, the MRI staff are also doing exams for inpatients and patients who visit the Emergency Department. Radiology Service expects to complete approximately 1,500 MRI exams per year.
Previously, the medical center had to solely use outside facilities for detailed imaging that was not possible with computed tomography (CT) scanning alone. In Fiscal Year 2013, the hospital sent 887 Veterans to outside facilities.
“The addition of this new on-site MRI imaging facility greatly benefits our inpatients, as well as our outpatients by providing them with convenient and timely services,” said Dr. Vijay Aggarwal, chief of Radiology Service. “We are delighted that our Veterans are now benefitting from the most up-to-date imaging technology.”
The new MRI Suite gives the medical center a powerful imaging tool that allows physicians to diagnose and monitor treatments for a variety of medical conditions, including: abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord; tumors, cysts, and other deviations in various parts of the body; injuries or irregularities of the joints; and diseases of the liver and other abdominal organs for example.
MRI can give physicians different information about structures in the body than from other imaging tools. For example, an MRI exam of a joint can provide detailed images of ligaments and cartilage, which are not visible using other imaging tools.
“MRI provides an additional complimentary imaging tool in addition to CT, X-Ray and ultrasound,” said Dr. Jeffrey Hesse, MRI Radiologist. “There are some areas of the body that are really best evaluated with an MRI.”
The new suite cost approximately $3.4 million and includes a Philips Ingenia Omega 1.5T MRI machine, two exam rooms, control room, image reading room, three patient dressing rooms, lobby and waiting room, restrooms, storage rooms and lockers for patients and staff.
While the MRI Suite currently has only one MRI machine at this time, the suite does include a second exam room which gives the medical center the option of expanding MRI services in the future by purchasing a second MRI machine.
Patients can access the MRI Suite from inside the medical center by Prosthetics Service or from outside through the suite’s own entrance at the North end of the building. Veterans who have questions about their MRI appointment should call the medical center at 918-577-3989.