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Movable MRI: Wilkes-Barre has the only one in PA

The movable MRI was introduced in 2005. Wilkes-Barre General was one of the first sites to start using it more than 10 years ago.

This behemoth machine at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital serves as a guide that helps neurosurgeons perform the most intricate operations in the smallest of areas.

Mounted on a ceiling rail system — it has the ability to move right into the Operating Room. It's called IMRIS, and it's the only one in Pennsylvania.

"IMRIS stands for Interoperative MRI systems. What it is is an MRI that we have physically inside the OR that we can take images of the brain as we are doing surgery," said neurosurgeon Dr. Carlo de Luna.

Being able to take scans as a surgery is underway allows neurosurgeons like de Luna at Commonwealth Health Wilkes-Barre General Hospital to evaluate a patient while the patient is undergoing brain surgery. The surgeon can make necessary adjustments, eliminating possible follow-up surgeries.

"So think of it as GPS and Trip Adviser at the same time," said Dr. Satish Patel, radiology chief. "We can tell where we are in the brain. Very precisely, we can guide ourselves away from areas that are critical. It makes surgery safer."

Patel says IMRIS technology gives real time information and greater precision for removing tumors.

"My part of the job is scanning the patient with the technologist and seeing where the tumor is and where the fibers are and what is the tumor they have." said Patel.

The greatest benefit is that by moving the MRI and not the patient, surgeons can deliver better responses and patients have better results.

The movable MRI was introduced in 2005; Wilkes-Barre General was one of the first sites to start using it more than 10 years ago.

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