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Hill Country Health Blog

New MRI reduces chlaustrophobia

Nov 22

Written by:
11/22/2016 11:34 AM  RssIcon

If you’ve had a magnetic resonance imaging test before, you may recall some anxiety about the enclosed space and the loud noises. But the value of MRI details made the experience worthwhile. Magnetic resonance imaging pictures of tissue, organs and body structures help physicians make decisions about diagnoses and treatments.

CTMC recently invested in a new MRI machine that creates a more pleasant experience for patients. The new
Toshiba Vantage Titan 1.5T MRI is the only MRI machine on the I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to offer a 28-inch entrance, or large bore. According to Dr. Stephen Swearingen of San Marcos Medical Imaging, this is the largest MRI bore available today and allows CTMC to accommodate larger patients.

“Previously, we had to put patients in awkward positions to get images of certain parts of their body. The larger
opening eliminates that,” Swearingen said.

In addition, patients who suffer with claustrophobia will be more comfortable using the new technology. Another advantage is that it is much quieter.

“The previous machine was almost deafening,” Swearingen said. “The noise of the new machine is decreased by about 90 percent.” Another important feature of the Toshiba Vantage Titan 1.5T MRI is its capability to provide non-contrast MRIs.

“With this innovation, we are able to look at blood vessels without injecting contrast,” MRI technician Kirsten Bartley explained. “This is good news for the large diabetic population here, because patients with kidney failure can’t be injected with the contrasting dye.”

CTMC is proud to offer imaging services that enhance each patient’s experience and comfort.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI images are obtained by placing the patient in a powerful magnetic field that interacts with radio waves to generate images of the body.

CT Scan

A CT scan emits a series of narrow beams through the human body as it moves through an arc, producing images that are far more detailed than an x-ray image. It shows anatomy as a series of slices.


Sound waves are used to produce images. A transducer sends high-pitched sounds into the body and listens for echoes that are sent back from the various tissues in the body.

Nuclear Medicine

Small amounts of radioactive material pinpoint molecular activity within the body with the potential to identify diseases in their earliest stages.


An x-ray beam travels through the air, comes into contact with the body tissues and produces an image on a metal film.


Mammogram machines are used to take x-rays specifically of breast tissue.

MRI graphic

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Central Texas Medical Center
1301 Wonder World Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666