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Jennifer Heisler, RN

The Newest in MRI technology—iMRI

By March 19, 2013

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iMRI is the newest technology in the world of MRI studies.  The new machine, the iMRI, or intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging machine, allows MRI images to be obtained during surgery.

About 40 of the machines are currently in use across the United States but the technology promises to improve brain and spinal surgery outcomes.

What's so different about the machine? Currently, a surgery would have to be completed, the patient would then be taken to an MRI suite where a traditional MRI would be completed.  Then, if the images indicated that further surgery is needed, the patient would eventually need to be returned to surgery.  With iMRI, the patient can have the imaging study done while still in surgery, and if further surgery is needed, the procedure can continue--all without the patient leaving the surgical suite.

The technology is particularly useful during surgeries to remove a brain tumor.  The MRI can help determine if more tissue needs to be removed during the procedure, eliminating the risk of a second surgery to remove additional tumor tissue.

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