Patients who require imaging tests in Sumter will soon have access to more advanced MRI technology with enhanced image resolution software.

Prisma Health’s installation of a new MRI machine at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital represents a $2.7 million investment that will be incorporated in two phases.

During the construction phase, the radiology department will use a more advanced and portable MRI scanner.

“It’s remarkable how this technology has progressed, with the hardware becoming smaller and faster and the images capturing more detail than ever,” said Angie Gilley, Tuomey’s imaging manager. “Our current machine in Sumter weighs close to 60,000 pounds, and the new models are a fraction of that scale.”

The hospital’s current unit will be dismantled and removed over a period of about 16 weeks and transported on flatbed trailers. A glass wall barrier behind the scanner will be removed to allow for installation of the new machine, which weighs 8,000 pounds.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is non-invasive technology that uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed, high-resolution images of a person’s organs and tissues. It is used to illustrate the difference between healthy and diseased tissue and can lead to early detection and treatment of disease and injury, from torn ligaments to cancerous tumors.

The development of this diagnostic tool revolutionized modern medicine. Physicians and researchers continue to refine the machine and expand its scope and capabilities.

MRI is used to help diagnose such things as aneurysms, multiple sclerosis, stroke, tumors, anomalies of the brain and spinal cord, injuries or abnormalities of the joints, certain types of heart problems, diseases of the liver and other abdominal organs and suspected uterine abnormalities.