Archive for June, 2014

June 6, 2014

Vascular Series Part 1 – Carotid Doppler Screening

Carotid ultrasound by National Heart Lung and Blood Insitute (NIH) via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Public DomainEveryone’s heard of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading killer of men and women in our country, but for many the term brings to mind only heart disease.


Being heart-health focused is great! But having healthy arteries is also critical to health and longevity. There are 795,000 US citizens affected by stroke each year. Strokes can be caused by blockage of blood flow in the vessels leading to or in the brain or bleeding from vessels in the brain.


Both cause death of cells in the brain if not treated promptly. Death of neurons can result in significant disabilities or death. Risks for the development of strokes include age, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, as well as heart conditions including atrial fibrillation, inactivity, obesity (just to name a few). One of the best things a person can do to fight this disease is to stay active!


Thickening of the arteries which go to the brain (atherosclerosis) can lead to strokes. Blood flow can become blocked by clot, or plaques lining the arteries can break off and travel to the smaller vessels in the brain causing blockages.


One noninvasive way of looking at these conditions of the carotid arteries in the neck is with Doppler.  This is an ultrasound technique which can show blood flow in vessels. Narrowing of vessels causes an increase in the velocity of flow through them (much the same as increasing the rate of flow through your garden hose by holding your thumb over and narrowing the opening).


Doppler will look at the velocities in the arteries in the neck allowing us to find areas of narrowing. Doppler can estimate the degree of narrowing by looking at the velocities. Ultrasound of the arteries also allows us to see the wall and plaques causing the narrowing.


Carotid Doppler can be indicated to evaluate patients with mini-stroke symptoms or those at high risk for strokes. Sometimes carotid Doppler is indicated in high risk patients who are undergoing surgery for preoperative assessment of stroke risk.


If you’d like to know more about how to stay (or get!) heart and vessel healthy, we recommend the American Heart Association’s website.

(Image credit: Carotid ultrasound by National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NIH) via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Public Domain)

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health and general radiology Visit our sites for more helpful information!


June 4, 2014

We Love… Best Bones Forever!

Best Bones Forever by Office of Women's Health via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Public DomainAs doctors, we find many people and organizations we love – from patients who we care about deeply to nonprofits that are assisting others on the road to their best possible health. Today we’d like to highlight a really great initiative: Best Bones Forever!


Best Bones Forever focuses on the bone health of young girls with the hope of avoiding bone health issues later in life. You know the old saying about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure – well, it’s true! Taking care of yourselves when you are young can help avoid a world of aches further down the line.


An initiative of the Office of Women’s Health, the hope is to help prevent conditions like osteoporosis, or loss of bone mass that affects many elderly women. Bone loss can lead to a higher risk of fractures which can be associated with life-threatening complications and side effects which have a profound impact on quality of life. As it turns out, keeping bones strong now means having stronger bones in the future. So whether it’s exercise or a diet with the proper nutrition, the aim is to help girls develop a lifestyle of healthiness that will last them a lifetime and result in less risk for bone loss as aging occurs. And for their parents, some handy notes can be found here.


(Oh, and you can like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter for more helpful, healthful information!)

(Image credit: Best Bones Forever by Office of Women’s Health via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Public Domain)


Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health and general radiology Visit our sites for more helpful information!


June 2, 2014

Introducing… Overland Park Open MR/CT!

OPEN MR CTWe’re pretty sure by now that it’s clear we at Diagnostic Imaging Centers love caring for people. The third part of our Overland Park clinic (just across the parking lot from the Women’s Center and general radiology clinic building) is lovingly called “the little building”.  At this office we perform CT, MRI and Open MRI exams.


Who are we seeing at this office?


Ever see a linebacker with an ACL tear? We have. Ever try to put someone that size through a traditional MRI machine? To be honest, it’s a tight fit. We have a solution!


Know anyone with extreme claustrophobia? From time to time, we have patients who suffer from that. Sometimes MRI machines can be (a little) intimidating to those who don’t like tight spaces. It’s ok. We have a solution!


We are equipped with specialized technology like our open MRI machine. While the typical MRI machine looks like a donut with a table running through it, the open MRI looks more like a round table with a round disc suspended above. Instead of being open only on the ends (as with the donut), it is also open on the sides. This is great for fitting those who feel too constricted by typical MRI units or those who have trouble fitting in the standard machine.


Now, there is a trade off to these open MRI exams – they take a slightly longer to perform and get a slightly lower clarity because the magnet creating the signal is much smaller. This is why we steer people to the traditional machines first, and even offer oral sedation to the nervous. However, when the situation calls for a larger/more open machine, we’ve got it!


This center also has CT imaging available that uses low dose technology, keeping patient safety first. We have a bariatric table that allows for larger patients to be imaged safely and quickly.


Our high field MRI unit is state of the art.  It uses fast gradients and techniques to perform  all exams of the highest quality from MRI cardiac imaging to brain studies to injuries. If an MRI is what you need, we have got you imaged.


Not only does our MRI/Open MRI/CT facility treat those with special concerns with state of the art technology, we have a dedicated staff of technologists who are there to put our patients at ease. From the front desk to the exit door, we’re with you all the way.


A friendly conversation to take the edge off? We’ll talk about anything from mystery novels to being animal-lovers. We believe in treating patients and people and in that, we aren’t just techs and doctors but – wait for it – actual people too! We truly believe that the best way to help you is by being genuinely caring – it’s something we look for in hiring. We seek out the best and get the best: not just employees, but people.


So should circumstances call for it, we’ve got you covered – from larger machines to the kindest people around!

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health and general radiology Visit our sites for more helpful information!