New MRI Offers more Space, Less Claustrophobic for Patients

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One common complaint patients make is how tight and claustrophobic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines feel. Therefore, Bronson Advanced Radiology Services has introduced a new MRI that is more spacious to suit the comfort of their patients.

"The increase in the size of the American population is all too well documented and that plays a part in that, but we have a fairly large population of claustrophobic people as well. With those things in mind, Bronson made that investment into the new scanner," said system director of diagnostics at Bronson, Josh Scheller.

Bronson's new MRI machine is a Siemens Skyra 3 Tesla (3T) Wide Bore that is part of a $2 million investment by the health care organization. It says the machine is the only imaging system of its kind in all of Kalamazoo, MI.

It will serve as a permanent replacement of a mobile MRI system that Bronson Advanced Radiology Services has used at its 524 S. Park St. location for around five years.

"One of the nice things about the wide-bore system is the space is distributed around the whole patient," said Scheller.

The wide-bore machine has a diameter of 70-centimeters (27.6 inches). That is as close as the patient comes to the opening through which he or she passes.  Standard open system machines have 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) at their widest points, yet those points are largely to the right and left of the patient as he or she passes through.

“It's not atypical for patients who suffer with claustrophobia to have to reschedule an MRI test and have it done after their physician can administer a general anesthetic or anti-anxiety medication. The wide-bore machine design is good for patients who are claustrophobic or who may be larger in size because many exams can be performed with the patient’s head outside of the bore. At the same time, he said the new machine provides more detailed and higher-resolution images. Replacing the mobile, leased machine with one that Bronson now owns at a fixed site, will lower the costs associated with it. Bronson has two other MRI machines. Each is typically in service about every 45 minutes,” noted Scheller.

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