Health Articles - 3.0 Tesla MRI



Visalia Imaging has become a significant hub for regional medical care.  With the latest technology, expertise of our techologists, and fellowship-trained radiologists providing state-of-the-art imaging protocols, we have achieved that distinction. 


The latest in MRI technology, the 3.0 Tesla machine, sets a new imaging standard by producing stunning image quality.  This advancement provides a valuable opportunity for our community whereby critical diagnostic studies can be done locally, thus saving patients travel time and effort.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses radio waves and a very powerful magnetic field to selectively excite slices of tissue within the body.  As the tissue releases this energy as radio waves, a computer generates images.  “This magnet is similar in strength to the one they use to pick up cars at the junkyard,” said Visalia radiologist Glade Roper, MD, who completed a fellowship in musculoskeletal radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.  “The more powerful the magnet, the higher the quality the image will be.”  Due to the exceptional anatomic detail, Roper noted the increased image clarity is particularly beneficial for medical conditions involving the brain, spine and musculoskeletal systems.  Additionally, the greater contrast seen better differentiates between ligaments and tendons.  “It’s like watching baseball on an HD TV versus a traditional TV.  On a regular TV you can see the baseball leave the pitcher’s hand.  In HD, you can see the stitches on the ball.”

As a UCSD fellow trained in neuroradiology, Dr. Aaron Berkey of Visalia states “I  am able to more accurately report pathologic conditions such as symptomatic herniated discs and potentially lead to earlier detection of disease processes affecting many people here in the Valley with diagnoses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.”

MRI’s are another tool to help doctors answer three questions:  Do I need surgery?  What kind of surgery?  Will surgery make it better?  It takes a skilled doctor to interpret the images.  An MRI is a great tool that is often the final factor for moving treatment forward.  There is no ionizing radiation exposure to the patient, and the faster scanning time, enlarged bore (opening) and cushioned table provide for a more comfortable experience.