Friday, January 21, 2011

‘Super’ Magnet in Place, York Hospital Breast MRI Project on Schedule

An 8,800 lb. superconducting magnet was hoisted into place in York Hospital’s new 2,800-square-foot Breast Care Center addition recently. Because of its size and weight, the magnet needed to be hoisted by crane through an opening in the wall and placed in its exact position before construction could continue. When complete in March, the center will provide the first Aurora® Dedicated Breast MRI System in the entire state of Maine. It will also open with newly designed reception and waiting areas for added privacy, and two additional consultation rooms for patients and their medical team.
“This breast MRI system is a critical tool in the fight against breast disease. It will be used to identify early stages of breast cancer not detected through other means and is especially critical for those women at high risk for the disease,” explained Dr. Kira Wendorf, one of York Hospital’s two dedicated, board certified Breast Radiology physicians who are on-site to provide same-day results. “It is the only FDA-approved MRI system that is exclusively dedicated to examine the breasts. Both breasts can be scanned at the same time, painlessly, without the need for compression and with amazing clarity.”
The Aurora® Dedicated Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) system uses a magnetic field and radio waves (instead of x-rays) to painlessly scan breast tissue, producing high-definition, 3-D crystal clear images. For women who are deemed ‘high risk’ for breast cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends a breast MRI exam in addition to mammograms, which has proven most effective in identifying certain cancers that are not always seen using mammography or ultrasound.”
“We are thrilled to soon be able to offer this advanced technology to patients right here at York Hospital,” she added. “Better methods of earlier detection—like breast MRI—will help improve breast cancer survival even further,” noted Wendorf.
Already designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, the Breast Care Center at York Hospital, which opened in 2008, offers digital mammography, breast ultrasound and stereotactic breast biopsy in addition to the new MRI service. As part of the project, the hospital is also working to redesign current waiting areas for more privacy, and add consultation rooms for patients and their medical team. The project is slated to open in March. For more information please contact the Breast Care team at 207-351-2023 or
The expansion of Breast Care to include Breast MRI is a project of the Hospital’s For Every Patient campaign with a goal to raise $7 million to support several hospital endeavors. Other projects include the renovation and expansion of the hospital’s Surgery Center; the conversion of all semi-private in-patient rooms to private rooms; and the addition of a helipad for rapid medical transports. For more information or to make a donation to the campaign, contact Susan McDonough, Lead of Development, at 207-351-3522 or at
Photo caption: York Hospital President Jud Knox peers through the center tube as members of the Aurora engineering team position the 8,800 lb magnet into place in its new home at York Hospital’s Breast Care Center. The technology will be available for patients in March. (Courtesy photo)