Revolutionary technology at the world-class Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (NOC) in Oxford is once again improving patient care in the NHS, thanks to the world’s first installed 360º MRI scanner, now fully functioning at the NOC’s new hospital. The scanner is open to patients from Oxfordshire and also patients from around the UK who wish to be referred to take advantage of its unique capabilities.
The FONAR 360º™ scanner at the NOC was the first of its kind to be installed anywhere in the world. It has a completely open sided design – instead of the traditional tunnel-like shape – makes it easier to scan claustrophobic, large or paediatric patients. Because the scanner offers a unique, unrestricted 360º degree access to the patient and provides ample space for a team of surgeons and all its equipment, it is specifically designed for MRI-guided surgical and interventional procedures.
The MRI unit is just one of the new services available at the NOC, which has just completed the final phase of construction of a new £42 million state-of-the-art hospital.
Simon Ostlere, Consultant Musculoskeletal Radiologist at the NOC, says: "The unique imaging capability of the FONAR 360™ is a very attractive option for claustrophobic patients. It is also very quiet in comparison with conventional tunnel MRI scanners, so it’s much less intimidating for children, who can see their parents and be reassured throughout the scanning process. We’re keen to promote this service, so that patients throughout the UK can take advantage of this facility.”
The NOC is now exploring the use of the magnet to support MRI-guided interventional procedures.
The Fonar design is unique, with the poles of the scanner protruding from the ceiling and from the floor. The poles are part of a massive magnet positioned outside the scan room walls and are impervious to vibration-related problems. The patient is comfortably positioned in a large gap between the two poles and is accessible from any angle. Engineers can fully control, contour and direct the magnet’s lines of flux so that it focuses exactly on the area they need to study.
For high resolution images of the NOC Open MRI scanner, visit: http://www.noc.nhs.uk/aboutus/newhospital/noc_images.aspx