Open MR Interventional Procedures

Safe, modern and comfortable

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 the Institute for Nerve Medicine. The procedures are done in a Phillips 0.23 Tesla imager with optical guidance that allows stereotactic guidance of the needle into soft tissue.

Deep tissue injections near the spine and nerves give physicians valuable diagnostic and therapeutic benefit in treating complex pain disorders of the nerves and spine. However, MRI Guided Interventional procedures provide higher accuracy, less discomfort and less exposure to cancer-causing radiation and ultimately provide for a quicker recovery time.

Safety & Comfort for the Patient
Open MR Guided Procedures are more beneficial to the patient than X-ray or CT-guided procedures because X-ray uses 2-dimensional images and the procedure is more uncomfortable for the patient. Moreover, this method makes it more difficult for the physician to find his or her target. 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 provides zero radiation and a high accuracy with minimal discomfort to the patient.

Open MR Guided Procedures are completed in a surgery center equipped with emergency equipment mainly because of 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, but the procedures are performed in the surgical center 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 MRI 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.

The accuracy of soft tissue guidance utilized by the Interventional MR is akin to a staged surgery where there is an actual real chance of resolving the pain condition without the requirement of additional surgery. However, if surgery is subsequently required the IMR 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 the pain and radiation exposure eliminate harmful X-ray radiation in these procedures. This means more accuracy, less discomfort, no cancer-causing radiation, and faster recovery for most patients.

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    Dr. Aaron G. Filler, MD PhD JD FRCS

    Medical Director, Institute for Nerve Medicine
    Santa Monica, California

    Dr. Aaron Filler is the world’s leading expert in the treatment of nerve pain, revolutionizing this area of medicine by inventing several new technologies. One such technology, MR Neurography, enables doctors to use an MRI scanner to examine nerves, previously a difficult-to-impossible tissue to visualize with MR imaging. Dr. Filler’s research in axonal transport is leading to a whole new generation of advanced pain medications. He has developed many new “minimal access” surgery methods that allow him to treat complex nerve problems with small outpatient surgeries. He has also pioneered the use of the Open MRI scanner to do surgeries and other therapies with the ultra-high precision and safety of the magnetic resonance imaging.

    Dr. Aaron Filler combines three key components in his treatment of each patient:

    • Compassionate personal attention,
    • Expert medical skills, and
    • The best technology in the world

    He combines these components to turn insoluble pain problems into specific treatable diagnoses. Prior to coming to the Institute for Nerve Medicine, many of Dr. Filler’s patients have seen a dozen doctors (or more), experienced failed surgeries, and have even had their very pain questioned.

    Time and again, Dr. Filler demonstrates that in many of these cases the problem is the doctor and not the patient. A cure is in reach when the best available medical care is brought to bear.

    Insurance and Payment Options

    Questions about what insurance plans the Institute for Nerve Medicine accepts?

    We accept all insurance plans (including PPO, POS, etc.) that include out-of-network benefits.

    We have opted out of Medicare.

    We do not insurance-bill any worker’s compensation plan.

    We provide interest-free monthly payment plans for patients with insurance plans that do not fully cover costs of out-of-network and specialty medical services.

    We accept all major forms of payment: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, personal checks and cash (US currency). We do not accept foreign currencies (e.g. Euro).

    We work with patients of every budget level and want all patients to have access to the best expert care in this field. Accordingly, billing services are offered as a courtesy to all patients.

    More questions? Call us at 310-314-6410.