'Upright' MRI Machine In Tulsa One Of Three In US

Thursday, January 9th 2014, 10:18 am
By: Dave Davis

There is a new way to get an MRI that is not like anything else you'll see in this area. A Tulsa company has one of only three Upright MRI machines in the country.

It's been almost a year since the Upright MRI was installed at Advanced Imaging at 7050 South Yale.

3/28/2013 Related Story: 65,000-Pound Upright MRI Delivered To Tulsa's Advance Imaging

Advanced Imaging says patients from miles around are noticing.

"We've seen a definite increase in volume. Patients are requesting it. We're noticing patients coming from further away. A lot of patients that live out in rural Oklahoma, even Arkansas," said Bob Fair, Advanced Imaging.

Advanced Imaging's MRI expert, Bob Fair, says patients with claustrophobia love it and doctors are starting to see how useful it can be.

"When you stand a patient up, or set a patient up, it puts an additional load on the back, the extra weight of the body. And it changes the position of the anatomy, based on injuries," said Bob Fair.

He says you can see an injury more realistically. During a regular MRI the patient's back is flat. But the upright scan, with a patient's body weight pressing on the back, paints a different picture, more likely to reveal injuries that may need surgery.

If you've ever been in this Upright MRI, you know it's not your average MRI. You can watch TV during the scan and listen in with special headphones that aren't affected by the huge magnets inside the machine.

"Kids, kids love it. You can put cartoons on the TV and the kids will hold still. So yeah," said Bob Fair.

That's saying a lot for a machine that typically would scare kids away.