Open MR Procedures

Accurate, comfortable, and absolutely zero radiation

Open MR (magnetic resonance)-guided interventional procedures are surgery-based procedures employed by Dr. Aaron G. Filler, MD, PhD, at NIMA. The procedures are done in a Hitachi 1.2 Tesla imager with optical guidance that allows stereotactic guidance of the needle into soft tissue.
Deep tissue injections near the spine and nerves provide valuable diagnostic and therapeutic benefit in treating complex pain disorders of the nerves and spine. Open MR-guided interventional procedures provide higher accuracy, less discomfort, and less exposure to cancer-causing radiation and ultimately, a quicker recovery time.

Increased Safety & Comfort

Open MR-guided procedures have distinct benefits over X-ray or CT-guided procedures for many reasons, for example, X-ray creates 2-dimensional images, the X-ray/CT procedure is more uncomfortable for the patient, and finding a target is more difficult for the physician. Also, in some X-ray/fluoroscopic guided procedures, the patient receives a dose of X-rays almost 500 times the amount of a chest X-ray. Open MR-guided procedures provide zero radiation and yield high accuracy with minimal discomfort to the patient.
Open MR-guided procedures are completed in an ambulatory surgery center equipped with emergency equipment due to the large volume of medications used in these procedures and the risk of respiratory and cardiac compromise from an intravascular injection. The risk is low due to the high level of guidance of the MRI, and procedures are performed in the surgical center for patient safety in the event of an emergency. All procedures are performed under Ambulatory Surgical Center guidelines and accreditation.

Diagnostic and Therapeutic Benefit

The diagnostic information obtained from the open MR-guided procedures is crucial to treating complex pain disorders involving the nerves and the spine. The physician is assured that the target is reached by the accuracy of the MR-guidance, and therefore can conclude based on the patient’s response if the targeted area is involved in the diagnosis. Post-injection T2-weighted MR images are obtained to assess the final distribution of the injectate in the muscle. This can also give the provider more diagnostic information regarding the patient’s condition.
Due to the high accuracy of the procedures, many patients get lasting benefit and are able to avoid surgical intervention to treat their pain syndrome. The accuracy and outcomes are the proof. However, if surgery is subsequently required, the open MR-guided procedure allows for a minimally invasive surgical technique and provides detailed imaging results for navigating the surgical plan and providing the patient with a greater chance of pain resolution.
Dr. Aaron Filler pioneered the use of open MR-guidance to help reduce pain and radiation exposure eliminating harmful X-ray radiation compared to other procedures. This means more accuracy, less discomfort, no cancer-causing radiation, and faster recovery for most patients.
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