Bloomington / Normal, IL

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

3T MRI—An Upgrade Worth Talking About


By Melissa Larson

Ft. Jesse Imaging & Gale Keeran Center for Women is completely focused on providing the very best imaging options for the Bloomington/Normal and greater Central Illinois area. In December, our office will be elevating imaging once again with the addition of a 3T Wide Bore MRI suite. This new MRI machine, will be the first of its kind in the twin-cities and will provide the highest quality images which ensures the most accurate diagnosis, leading to better outcomes for patients!

If you have visited our office recently, it may have felt as though you were walking into a construction zone. We hope you’ll pardon our dust until we’re ready to unveil a beautiful MRI imaging suite that will include aesthetic ambiance, ultimate convenience, and state-of-the-art imaging.

Why 3T MRI?
MRI machines use a powerful magnet to take detailed images of your body. The strength of the magnet is measured in teslas (T), a unit of measurement quantifying the strength of a magnetic field. Our current MRI operates at a strength of 1.5T. Our new 3T wide bore MRI will generate a magnetic field that is twice as strong as our current 1.5T MRI. The 3T MRI is also 10 to 15 times stronger than an open MRI scanner.

While MRI is best suited for scans involving conditions of the brain, spine, and musculoskeletal system, 3T MRI can scan for other conditions such as prostate cancer and offer detailed imaging of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. In looking at neurological conditions, 3T wide bore MRI imaging can pick up even the slightest difference within the brain and/or spinal canal. High-quality images provide radiologists more accurate information about a patient and their condition which results in better care and outcomes.

Beyond the benefit of the clearest and best MRI images, patients at Ft. Jesse Imaging Center will notice numerous other benefits with the addition of our 3T Wide Bore MRI. These benefits include:

Shorter Exam Times
3T Wide Bore MRIs take less time from start to finish. In most cases, we expect exam times to be cut in half. Many MRI patients are uncomfortable laying still due to injury or illness. This shorter imaging exam means patient comfort truly comes first.

Air Coils for Many Exams
Air Coils look and feel like a flexible blanket and work to improve the scan experience while also increasing signal quality. Those who have experienced an MRI are familiar with having a coil placed in the area being scanned. These coils act like an antenna to ensure a good signal and are responsible for the fine detail of imaging. Unfortunately, these coils are sometimes hard and uncomfortable. With our upgraded unit, the comfort level will be greatly increased while simultaneously creating a higher quality image.

Currently, many MRI exams require patients to go head-first into the unit. One of the biggest patient concerns about MRI is claustrophobia. The 3T Wide Bore MRI allows patients to go into the machine feet-first meaning patients will often be partially outside of the MRI machine leading to a more relaxed experience.

Wide Bore
The wide bore MRI is 70cm, a larger opening that allows for a comfortable experience for many body types. The wide bore increases support for both the head and neck and allows for a more comfortable exam regardless of a patient’s height, weight, or physique.

The renovation to our Caring Suite will have many features to enhance the experience of the visit, starting with a fully adjustable cozy lighting system. In addition, decorative ceiling tiles are positioned directly above the exam table giving patients something enjoyable to look at as their exam is performed. The ceiling tiles create a feeling of being in a tranquil environment or the feeling of being outdoors. These enhancements can reduce the use of sedation, claustrophobia, and overall patient anxiety.

Safety – Our Number One Priority
If you spend any time on our social media platforms, you’ll see the many posts and silly videos of our staff regarding MRI safety. While it may all seem lighthearted, silly, or fun, our staff truly makes MRI safety the highest priority. MRI units use an incredibly powerful magnet which means we must take extreme care that every single individual within our facility is safe.

Some patients have body implants, and we monitor these patients carefully to ensure that they are safe to go into the MRI machine. While many implants are MRI safe, the current MRI machine must be set manually by a technologist to ensure the patient receives a safe range of energy. Our new 3T Wide Bore MRI is safe implant ready, meaning that these adjustments will be made automatically by the equipment, then verified by the technologist. Smart equipment helps us ensure the highest level of safety for our patients and each member of our team.

We Saved the Best for Last
We are truly excited to bring this new 3T Wide Bore MRI to the Bloomington/Normal community as well as the greater Central Illinois region. We know one area of concern is price, but you can rest assured knowing that the 3T MRI scans do not have any higher out-of-pocket costs than a traditional 1.5T MRI, meaning you will not have to talk with your insurance company or shop around to find a better deal.

Many people do not realize that they can choose where to have an MRI or any other imaging performed—even if it is different than what a physician’s office recommends. We will continue to provide the best price and service for patients with this upgrade

As our new MRI Suite is finalized and the new 3T Wide Bore MRI unit is delivered, we are excited to share the process with our friends and followers on social media so be sure to stay tuned in for all the updates. Each member of our staff will learn and understand how this new technology benefits our patients and our team. We cannot wait to share our new 3T Wide Bore MRI with this community—coming in December!

Ft. Jesse Imaging & Gale Keeran Center for women, located at 2200 Ft Jesse Rd. in Normal, fulfills the community’s diagnostic imaging needs, in a calm outpatient setting, with outpatient rates. In addition to the 3T Wide bore MRI, They offer PET/CT, CT, Ultrasound, Xray, Mammography, Bone Density, and ABUS. With up-to-date technology, specialty trained radiologists, and ease of access, they strive to offer physicians and patients a superior experience.

You may call them at 309-454-5552, visit them on Facebook at or online at