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Spectrum Health acquires 4.2-ton magnet to improve heart care

Posted at 11:21 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 23:21:08-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spectrum Health has a new four-ton magnet, designed to help doctors understand what's happening in a patient's heart.

"And so the magnet was very very delicately basically inserted through the huge opening in the windows to drop it off in there, and then it gets maneuvered on these special kinds of tracks to make its way to its final home really in the heart of the Heart Institute," says Medical Director of the Cardiac MRI Program and Advanced Imaging Cardiologist Dr. Wissam Abdallah.

Dr. Abdallah with Spectrum says this technology will help them better understand what's happening with a patient's heart.

It will create images to discern which kinds of conditions a heart may have developed.

"So cardiac MRI is considered the gold standard, the evaluate heart function to look for fibrosis in the heart muscle non invasively, and to also evaluate the health of the heart, and really helps us guide so many treatment decisions," Dr. Abdallah explains.

When the heart center was built 15 years ago, doctors knew this was the way the technology was headed. So the center was designed to house this type of equipment, with the ground reinforced to hold its weight.

On Thursday, that plan was realized.

Dr. Abdallah says, "This specific technology that we now have is the latest and greatest, so to speak, in terms of cardiac MRI imaging that allows us to acquire images at a faster speed, that makes it more comfortable for the patients, allows us to gather a lot of information in a shorter period of time compared to what we were able to do in the past, and really enhances our image quality to be able to give so much more."

The advancement means higher-quality images at faster speed, meaning a more pinpointed diagnosis and treatment for those patients struggling with heart health.

Spectrum has long been doing MRIs, but this technology takes it up a notch — at a time when there's been increased demand.

Spectrum has seen a 330-percent increase in the cardiac MRI program since 2013.

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