Monthly Archives: June 2014

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Patient Interview: Aimee Stilson

At Open MRI of Pueblo, we truly value the feedback our patients provide us with. It helps us to be constantly improving our practice so we can grow and become even better for future patients. This week, we sat down with Aimee Stilson.

Aimee is 27, and a Pueblo native. She’s a cosmetologist, PE teacher, personal trainer, and certified in Zumba and Total Body Strength Training, she’s also certified to teach Sean T, of Insanity fame, S.T.R.I.D.E. program

 

Overall, how would you rate your experience at Open MRI of Pueblo?

It was a very positive experience. The facilities were very clean and everyone was so friendly. I also liked the quick scheduling and results.

 

How would you describe your interaction with the staff?

They treated me very well, the techs introduced themselves and explained everything clearly. The phone staff was very friendly, and as a bonus I was happy to see a friend from high school working at your facility.

 

How would you compare Open MRI of Pueblo to other medical experiences?

It was way better. I don’t have insurance so I’m not always treated well. Open MRI of Pueblo treated me like I had insurance.

What stood out the most about Open MRI of Pueblo?

The friendliness of the staff, hands down.

 

What would you change to improve the patient experience at Open MRI of Pueblo?

I wouldn’t change anything. During my whole ordeal so many doctors blew me off when they couldn’t immediately figure out what I’m going through. It took a whole year before anyone would take me seriously. Dawn Evert, of Affordable Care Clinic, was the first to really listen to me. The way your two clinics have helped me has made all the difference in the world.

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MARS: Not The Planet, But Just As Cool

Each year, over 1 million patients receive new hips and knees through total replacement surgeries, which doesn’t include the various other replacement surgeries that are needed. Millions of patients seek relief through various orthopedic procedures, leaving them carrying around extra hardware. While most will spend little time thinking about the metal they carry with them every day, imaging these body parts will present unique challenges moving forward. When using Magnetic Resonance Imaging, the metal parts will create interference and produce what are called “artifacts” on the images that the radiologists must examine. These artifacts can look like anything from plaid-like patterns to a big black space, which is what my MR Technician calls a “black hole.”

Let’s say a patient has experienced a fracture that requires a screw and other hardware to be placed into the femur. Typical MR scans would result in an image that is completely unusable to the specialist because the area of primary importance for the scan, meaning that the area surrounding the hardware will be either distorted by artifact or completely obscured. The specialist would likely be looking to see whether the screw has started to work itself out of its placement, or if there is a hardware malfunction occurring.

The Solution?

Metal Artifact Reduction Sequence. MARS studies utilize advanced algorithms to slightly alter how the MR machinery captures the image so it can present clean images in final form. In our previous example, the image would not only provide a clear view of your anatomy, but of the screw and hardware itself. The radiologist would even be able to see the screw threads in the bones!

The Open MRI of Pueblo technicians have worked diligently with Hitachi, the maker of the Oasis, to develop protocols that minimize, or even completely remove any artifacts caused by metal.  As joint replacement continues to grow as a recommended procedure, the ability to image these areas post surgery for check-ups will increase as well.  Open MRI of Pueblo is proud to be one of the only providers in Southern Colorado to offer MARS studies.

In addition to working with Hitachi, our technicians work with local physicians to develop customized protocols for our patients. As this area of imaging is still rather new, physicians will often want to focus on different aspects or angles of the affected area. We often share the input of one physician once an initial protocol is developed, allowing our community to have access to how imaging is executed. This is one of the many reasons Open MRI of Pueblo stands at the leading edge of imaging both in Colorado and the country as a whole.