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    Sutter Tracy’s New High-Tech MRI Helps Doctors Get the Full Picture


    For more information, contact:
    Karen Mudd, (209) 833-2427.

    Tracy – November 11, 2009– Detecting tumors, blood clots, weak blood vessels and other problems inside the body is faster and easier than ever with Sutter Tracy Community Hospital’s new state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. The high resolution, three-dimensional images produced by the MRI let physicians view the body’s organs and tissues at many different angles painlessly and quickly without using radiation.

    The $2 million MRI system from General Electric is the best in its class and the only MRI in the area equipped with a separate, more comfortable table dedicated to breast MRI. The new MRI is the latest addition to Sutter Tracy’s line of high tech services, which includes digital X-ray and mammography, advanced computed tomography (CT), and stereotactic breast biopsy.

    “MRI technology has advanced tremendously over the past few years producing higher resolution images in less time. With this new MRI, we can make faster, more accurate diagnoses which will lead to better treatments and outcomes for patients,” said T. Tejpal Singh, medical director for Sutter Tracy Imaging Services. “The new MRI can image the breast, which we couldn’t do with our old MRI so we had to refer those patients to facilities outside of Tracy. Now our patients can receive the care they need close to home. The new unit also produces much improved images of abdominal organs and blood vessels.”

    Women at high risk of developing breast cancer are among those to benefit most from the new MRI, added Dr. Singh. While mammography is still the screening tool of choice for most women, research shows that MRI is better at detecting breast cancer than mammography alone in certain women at high risk for breast cancer – i.e. those with a strong family history of breast cancer or a genetic mutation that predisposes them to the disease.

    Sutter Tracy’s new MRI is also equipped with computer-aided detection (CAD), a system of hardware and software applied to breast MRI images. The system works like an “additional pair of eyes” and helps radiologists to more quickly and accurately determine the size and location of cancers found on breast MRI.

    The top-of-the-line MRI is capable of many other advanced applications as well, including magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). MRA provides a non-invasive alternative for diagnosing damaged blood vessels in the brain following a stroke or circulatory problems in the legs, arms and organs such as the kidney.

    The new MRI isn’t the only change patients will notice. Sutter Tracy moved their MRI suite to a new larger building closer to the hospital to provide greater convenience for patients and their loved ones. Unlike the previous location, the new MRI suite has its own beautifully decorated waiting area and private changing room.

    “We put a lot of effort into improving the patient’s experience as well as upgrading our equipment,” said David Bowlsby, Sutter Tracy Imaging Services manager. “The larger space, big windows and special touches make visiting the MRI suite much more pleasant and comfortable for everyone involved. It’s all part of Sutter Tracy’s effort provide the community with the best health care services possible.”

    Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers join resources and share expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Organization. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology.

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