A 550-ton crane with an estimated 300-foot boom extended out over Fisher-Titus Medical Center's patient pavilion Saturday. The large piece of construction equipment lifted a 37,000-pound MRI magnet through the roof housing radiology and imaging services.
To prepare for Saturday's lift, eight semi trucks traveled from Chicago carrying the crane pieces and the crane assembly began Friday morning near FTMC's ambulatory services discharge area. Construction crews then tested the crane Friday afternoon to ensure safety before lifting the large magnet out of the building.
"The magnet, part of the Hitachi MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) that was installed in 1993, and a supplement piece of equipment from FTMC's 16-slice CT scanner were removed to make room for the next stage in advancing technology a 64-slice CT scanner," said Patrick J. Martin, FTMC's president. "We are continuing to provide our community with 'Tomorrow's Technology, Today's Personal Care.'"
FTMC will continue to utilize its Siemens 1.5 Tesla MRI installed in September 2004. With the removal of the 16-slice CT scanner and 1993 MRI, the imaging services department will be renovated to make room for newly updated technology.
"In the interim, a mobile unit housing a multi-slice CT scanner will be used to provide our patients high quality imaging," said Denny Bottorf, FTMC's director of imaging services.
In late fall, FTMC will install Toshiba's Aquilion 64 CFX, an advanced 64-slice CT scanner. This CT scanner delivers high-speed, high resolution imaging, which allows physicians to capture precise images of any area of the body, including the rapidly moving heart and lungs.
"Computer tomography (CT) imaging, also known as "CAT" scanning, combines the use of a digital computer with a rotating X-ray device to create detailed cross-sectional images or 'slices' of the different organs and parts," said Dr. Matthew F. Gutowicz, Jr., chief of FTMC's department of radiology and nuclear medicine. "With this new technology, we will be better equipped to detect heart disease at its earliest stages."
FTMC's imaging department performed more than 57,000 tests in 2006, including CTs, MRIs, nuclear medicine imaging, ultrasonography, mammography and radiography.