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New MRI suite added to Mayo Clinic location in Onalaska

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An $8 million addition to Mayo Clinic Health System in Onalaska is about to open.

The imaging suite will have two of the newest MRI machines available for internal scanning.

Local Mayo vice president Dr. Paul Mueller said the clinic addition replaces a mobile truck that had been used for years.

“MRI capabilities provides the state-of-the-art cutting edge imaging that our patients need and deserve,” Mueller said. “Those images are interpreted by Mayo Clinic radiologists, who are best in class.”

One new 3T scanner is much larger than typical MRI machines. The term 3T stands for 3 Teslas — a measurement of magnetic strength. The other scanner will be 1.5 Tesla.

Diagnostic services director Jill Tryon said the larger size of the 3T machines should make exams easier for patients.

“I think patients are gonna notice it’s more comfortable” because there’s more room for a person to lie down inside the scanner, Tryon said. “We’ve been able to increase the speed of some of our sequences, so patients won’t be in the magnet quite as long as they historically have been.”

The new machines will provide more detailed images and will be used mainly for cancer, urology, neurology and sports medicine treatment.

Mayo plans to welcome its first patient to the new suite in early February.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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