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Why MRI? Technology with an Advantage

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive, painless scan that uses a strong magnet along with radio waves to generate images of physiological processes, organs, and other anatomy. 

MRI scans are beneficial in diagnosing many diseases and abnormalities in their early stages, from cancerous tumors to hip joint defects. They are also useful for studying the spinal cord, brain, heart, and eyes. 

An MRI displays water content and blood flow between tissues, which, when compared with a prior scan, gives health care providers the ability to detect any changes in the size or shape of an organ or tumor. For example, cancerous tumors can grow their own formation of new blood vessels, which gives them a larger blood supply than surrounding tissue, and an MRI can reveal this. 

MRI can differentiate between fat, muscle, and other soft-tissue structures, such as ligaments and cartilage. This can also be useful when analyzing a sports injury or joint condition, such as arthritis. An MRI can provide information about how blood moves through certain organs and vessels, allowing providers to identify any problems with blood circulation, such as blockages.

One major advantage to an MRI scan is that there is no exposure to radiation, as is the case with X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans. This means MRI can be used more safely on people who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of radiation, such as pregnant women and babies.

Barton Health now offers Outpatient Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at the Stateline Medical Center in Stateline, Nevada. The Outpatient MRI unit offers similar pricing to other freestanding imaging centers in the region without having to leave Lake Tahoe. Patients can opt to pay cash for their MRI at less than $800. Radiologist fees are billed separately. Learn more at BartonHealth.org/MedicalImaging.

Tom Davis is the director of Medical Imaging at Barton Health. To schedule your MRI appointment or receive a cost estimate, call 530.543.5850.