Monthly Archives: December 2015

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What Do You Want To See From Us In 2016?

What Do You Want To See From Us In 2016?

It feels like yesterday was just Christmas, but somehow tomorrow marks the beginning of January! 2015 has flown by faster than any other year, and it’s been a wild, wild ride. We feel great about 2015. For us it was a time of growth, a time of change, a time filled with several successes and failures. This year in the office we’ve laughed, this year we’ve cried, this year we’ve come together and shown support to patients and staff who needed it. This year we’ve learned, about ourselves and about the people around us. This year we’ve said goodbye to familiar faces and welcomed in new ones. This year we’ve accomplished what we seek to accomplish here at our center. This year we’ve positively impacted the lives of others. This year we’ve made ourselves proud.

There’s still a lot of room for improvement, though, and we know that. That’s what 2016 is for. As much as we’ve done in 2015, we’d like to do even more in the upcoming year. We want to keep growing, keep changing, keep helping, keep improving, and keep being a strong presence for our community. That’s where you come in.

We’re depending on you to help us make 2016 the best year we’ve ever had. Our patients are the most important people in our lives, and we want to do everything we can to make sure that your experience with us leaves you healthier and happier. We also understand that you guys will be honest with us, which is exactly what we need.

That’s why we’re asking you what you want to see from us in 2016. What can we do to improve our services? How can we better help our patients? If you could change just one thing about your experience with us, what would it be? Your feedback is so valuable to us, and we’d appreciate anything you have to offer.

Leave your New Year’s Resolution for us on our Facebook page, and let us know what you’d like to see more of in 2016!

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New Cardio Device Makes MRI Scans A Possibility For Thousands of Patients Who Were Previously Banned From the Procedure

 

Medical technology has come so far in the past few decades, and what once used to be a fatal injury or disease can oftentimes now be cured. An area where we’ve seen some of the most incredible life-saving advancements has been cardiology. In the past, patients with heart issues had very little options for treatment, as well as much shorter lifespans. Now, with devices like ICD’s (implantable cardioverter defibrillator), many heart conditions are easily monitored and treated.

What happens, though, when one life-saving device prevents you from being able to undergo another life-saving procedure?

ICDs are devices that are implanted in many patients with heart problems. The devices detect irregular heartbeats and help deliver life-saving therapy by restoring the patient’s normal heartbeat. They’re an incredibly awesome technology, and they’ve saved thousands of patient’s lives so far! The problem, though? ICDs aren’t MRI compatible, so patients who have ICD implants aren’t able to have an MRI. This is a pretty big problem, since data shows that within four years, over one third of patients with ICDs would likely need to get an MRI.

The problem with the ICDs was that they would start heating up whenever the patient was in the MRI machine, because of the strong magnetic field. The machine would heat up the device wires, which would then heat up the patient’s heart muscle and cause all sorts of issues. This was obviously incredibly frustrating for doctors, because MRI’s give much clearer images than their CT or X-ray alternatives, so in many cases they were the ideal procedure for the patient.

Decades later, and technology has finally caught up! Doctors understood that many patients with ICDs needed to find a way to be able to have MRI scans, so they knew that the technology needed to adapt. The old ICDs simply weren’t cutting it. Medtronic has finally released an FDA approved ICD device (the Evera MRI SureScan) that is MRI compatible. It does exactly the same thing as the older ICDs, the difference is that the design has been enhanced to safely undergo full-body MRIs.

It’s huge news for the cardiovascular world, because it means that patients with ICDs will finally be able to undergo a potentially life-saving procedure that previously was unavailable to them. Young or old, it’s likely that patients with ICDs will need to get an MRI at some point in their lives, and thanks to this new technology they’ll finally be able to do that.

You can read more about the Evera MRI SureScan and how it’s changing things for cardiovascular patients here.

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MRI Technology Brings Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Wings To Life

There’s a lot of things we love about the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, but if we’re being completely honest…the wings take the cake. Sure, the outfits are cool and the stage setups are wild and the performances aren’t half-bad, but the one thing I’m always left in awe by are the wings.

Tall ones, short ones, sparkly ones, dark ones, the wings are without a doubt the crowning glory of the VS fashion show. Each and every pair is unique, and each and every pair is uniquely crafted by some of the greatest artists using the greatest technology the modern world has to offer. Turns out this technology happens to include something you wouldn’t really expect: MRI.

The 2014 Victoria’s Secret fashion show was a big one. For the first time in history, designers used MRI technology and 3-d printing to create the wings for one of the show’s most popular looks: Lindsay Ellingson’s whimsical, lace-patterned bodice and wings.

 

The designers had a very distinct vision for Lindsay’s outfit. They wanted something that looked light, delicate, and lacy. The problem? They also needed the material to be structured and unbreakable, made out of a super strong material. Add the fact that it needed to essentially be molded to Lindsay’s body for the look to be right, and you’ll see that the designers really had their work cut out for them. They knew they’d need to do something different for this outfit, to use a type of technology and techniques they’d never tried before.

The solution was found in the medical community. Designers teamed up with architect Bradley Rothenberg to design the pattern for Ellingson’s outfit. They used an algorithm to create the lacy pattern, mimicking the shape of snowflakes. The pattern was then brought to life by Shapeways using 3-D printing, a technology that up till this point had been used almost exclusively for medical purposes. Awesome, right?

 

 

 

But what’s even more interesting than the fact that the outfit was 3-D printed is the fact that the whole thing was designed to fit specifically to the shape of Ellingson’s body. Before designing and printing the outfit, designers used MRI technology to take a full-body scan of the model’s body. This helped them get precise measurements for her body, and they were able to design an outfit that was essentially molded to her body.

 

The final look was absolutely breath-taking, not to mention a pretty big moment in history. Although it’s hard to say for sure whether Victoria’s Secret will begin to use this as a standard technique when designing all of their outfits for the fashion shows going forward, we did notice that a few of this year’s looks seemed pretty similar to Ellingson’s 3-D printed one from 2014. Who would’ve thought that MRI and 3-D printing, two very clinical types of technology that are pretty common in the medical community, would play a role in creating the outfits for something like the VS fashion show? Either way, we think it’s awesome.

You can read more about the process on Wired, where we got all the awesome photos included in this blog post!

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“But Jenny Told Me…”

There are a lot of questions when it comes to MRI’s. What are they? How do they work? Why do they make such weird noises? How much radiation will I be exposed to? We’ve taken some time to answer your questions about the MRI process, but we’ve noticed that there are two common misconceptions about MRI’s that keep popping up. A lot of times we’ll have patients come to us very concerned because they’ve heard horror stories from friends about what happens during an MRI. Don’t listen to your friends, they’re not always right! We’re looking to debunk these myths.

Myth 1) All MRI machines are created equal. We cannot begin to stress how completely 100% incorrect this statement is. Think of your MRI results as a picture, and the machine as the camera, because that’s essentially what it is. In order to determine whether there’s anything wrong, a clear and high quality image must be produced. In order to produce a sharper, higher quality image, you’ll need a higher quality camera. Anyone who’s used a cheap point and shoot camera and then picked up a DSLR can tell you that not all cameras are the same, and likewise not all MRI machines are the same. The better the image needed, the nicer the machine has to be.

Myth 2) People who have had joint replacement can’t get an MRI. With MRI’s, there’s a lot of emphasis placed on completely removing any metal on the body. Piercings, belts, zippers on jeans, etc. Anything that’s remotely metal must be removed before someone can enter the MRI machine because of the strength of the magnets. This causes concern for people who have had procedures such as joint replacements done where the implanted devices could contain metal. For the most part, medical devices such as these are not affected by the magnetic field of the MRI machine and should not provide a problem when scanned. Patients undergoing MRI’s who have had medical implants should discuss this with their doctor prior to the MRI procedure just to make sure that it is safe for them to proceed, but for the majority of cases this shouldn’t cause an issue.

Keep this in mind before you schedule an MRI for yourself. Make sure that the facility you go to has a quality machine (like ours!) and that you discuss any prior medical procedures with the doctor.