Posts tagged ‘helpful’

June 20, 2014

We Love… The National Stroke Association!

Does the face look uneven by Charles Hope via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)Just to be clear, we love the National Stroke Association, which is the opposite of loving strokes. After our series on vascular imaging as well reporting on recent studies on stroke prevention, it’s important to talk about the warning signs, additional prevention and what can be done if someone is suspected of having a stroke.

 

In health, action is everything.- for strokes, time means brain.The longer those neurons or brain cells go without blood flow, the greater their chance of death and loss of function. The sooner we  react to a situation, the better the chances of recovery. This is why it’s important to know the signs of a stroke and what to do if one is happening.

 

First, if you believe a stroke is occurring, call 911 immediately. What are signs of a stroke? They are sudden and can include any of the following: numbness, weakness, confusion, trouble seeing, walking or speaking, and/or severe headache. Nerve changes like numbness and weakness may occur on only one side of the body. Act immediately – time equals brain!

 

Risks for cerebrovascular disease and stroke include modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors. The National Stroke Association has an excellent breakdown of the many, many potential risk factors here. If you have any of these risk factors, from family history of strokes, to diabetes or high blood pressure (to name just a few), extra vigilance and modification of those factors you can control is key.

 

Strokes are disorienting experiences and can present with a wide spectrum of findings, based on which part of the brain is being affected. For an insightful first-person account, Jill Bolte Taylor’s TEDtalk about her experience (“My Stroke of Insight”) is a fascinating video.

 

Because of all their hard work toward the best possible health for all, we love The National Stroke Association. And if you like them too, you can do so here!

(Image Attribution: Does the face look uneven? by Charles Hope via Flickr Copyright Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0))

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

 

June 18, 2014

The Study Is Out: Animal Proteins and Strokes

 

Copper river sockeye smoked salmon mit salat und crumpet 07.04.2012 20-30-53 by Dirk Ingo Franke via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 UnportedNow that we’ve discussed carotid Doppler, CT angiography and MR angiography, here’s a reminder that we are advocates for an ounce of prevention over a pound of cure. Preventing vascular disease is much better than detecting it!

 

According to a recent analysis of seven health studies, one of the best ways to fight stroke is by a healthy diet (pause to act surprised here). One key to that healthy diet is lean animal protein (okay, you’re allowed to be surprised now).

 

The study showed that as lean protein intake increases, stroke risk decreases. This study included over 250,000 patients but was focused on those living in countries where unsaturated, lean proteins like fish are popular. Those who ate 20 additional grams of protein a day had a 26% lower risk of stroke. What is behind the reduced risk is less well-understood. Likely, there are multiple factors involved. For instance, a protein-rich diet can also naturally include extra nutrients like potassium, magnesium and dietary fiber, all of which may be stroke deterrents.

 

We should not take this study to mean increase your protein intake without considering the type or quality of the protein -lean animal protein seems to be the key here. While the occasional steak or hamburger is acceptable, increasing your daily dietary intake of these type proteins will not yield the same results seen in this study.

 

The long and the short of it is this: a careful diet is good for you; proteins, including lean animal proteins, seem to help with reducing stroke risk. For further reading, there are articles summarizing the findings here and here.


For your best vascular health, don’t smoke, keep cholesterol and glucose levels healthy, and consider a diet focused on healthy lean proteins.

June 13, 2014

Vascular Series Part 3 – MRA

MRAAs part of our continuing series on vascular health and imaging, we’d like to talk about another way of seeing into your body and imaging blood vessels: MR angiography, or magnetic resonance angiography.

 

MR angiography is different than CT angiography in that it uses MRI or magnetic resonance imaging with no radiation. This is a benefit of MR angiography.  MR angiography may or may not require use of an IV injection. When needed, MR angiography uses a different type of contrast material for injection – gadolinium-based instead of iodine-based. This is particularly helpful for people with iodine-contrast allergies or poor kidney function.

 

MR angiography can be used to image the blood vessels and blood flow. The procedure can produce some truly beautiful pictures of blood vessels (the physics behind creating those images is fascinating – and complex!). The vessel walls and adjacent tissues can be seen, as opposed to traditional angiography which shows only the vessel lumen or the inside of the vessel. CTA is the best tool for showing the walls of the vessels themselves.

 

So, what do we use MRA for?

 

We can use it to evaluate almost any artery or vein in the body. For example, MR angiography of the head (usually done without contrast) is helpful when looking for aneurysms (saclike outpouchings arising from blood vessels which can be deadly or disabling if they bleed) or areas of artery narrowing. To evaluate the abdominal aorta, we can look for aneurysms (abnormal dilatation) or dissection (when there is a tear in the vessel creating two channels). We may be asked to evaluate the renal arteries for narrowings- renal artery stenosis is one of the treatable causes of high blood pressure.  MR angiography can also be used to examine the leg arteries when needing to evaluate for causes of pain when walking.

As we have discussed, there are lots of ways of imaging the blood vessels. Often, ultrasound with Doppler is used first to see if there is a need for further investigation. CT angiography or MR angiography can further define the vessels and identify problems that may need to be addressed either surgically or with interventional radiology procedures (angioplasty, stenting). Traditional catheter angiography is often reserved for those cases that will benefit from vascular intervention.

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

 

June 11, 2014

Vascular Series Part 2 – What Is CT Angiography (CTA)?

CTACT angiography, or computed tomography angiography, (now you see why we like to call it CT angiography- such a mouthful!) is a way of imaging the blood vessels and surrounding tissues.

 

Why would we do that? CT angiography is a noninvasive way to exquisitely evaluate blood vessels within the body. With a simple venous injection of contrast we can quickly and elaborately evaluate the artery, the wall of the artery and the surrounding tissues.  Let’s look at an example. Say we need to evaluate patients with suspected narrowing in the neck arteries – CT angiography may follow an abnormal carotid Doppler to confirm how narrow the vessel is and to see if surgery will be necessary. It will show calcifications and noncalcified plaques and show how they affect the lumen (inside of the vessel) of the artery. This test is helpful in planning any necessary surgeries.

 

CT angiography can also be used to look at the arteries in the head for patients with strokes from bleeds. Aneurysms  (focal outpouchings) and their relation to the vessel are well seen and this procedure can help plan interventions needed to address them.

 

So now we know why we need to perform CT angiography, it begs the question, why is this modality of imaging the best choice for a situation? In the past, catheter angiography was the traditional way of imaging blood vessels of all types. However, it involves  putting a catheter through the skin into vessels, usually with an approach through the groin or in the arm. This creates beautiful images of the insides of the vessels, but is associated with some risks related to the catheter and the arterial puncture.

 

CT allows us to get exquisite images of the vessels with an injection into a vein in a less risky fashion while also allowing us to see the blood vessel wall – not just the lumen as is seen in traditional angiography. CT angiography can be used to evaluate blood vessels from the head to the toes and most parts in between.

In some cases, CT angiography has replaced or nearly replaced the need for catheter angiography (CT angiography chest to evaluate for pulmonary emboli or blood clots in the vessels in the lungs is one example). Other times, CT angiography will identify those patients that will benefit from catheter angiography – often this is used when interventions like angioplasty (ballooning narrowed areas in the arteries) or stenting (putting in metal or mesh stents to open up narrowings) are needed.

 

All told, CT angiography may be a lot of syllables but it can save a lot of lives.

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

 

May 28, 2014

Introducing… Overland Park Women’s Center!

Dancing by Katri Niemi via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)Ever heard of the Mammogram Dance? Neither had we… until we did it. Just another day at the office at Diagnostic Imaging Centers’ Women’s Center.

 

How does such a thing happen? It starts with people. Not just patients, not just staff… but people. Friendly people, nervous people, excited people – we have all kinds of people walk in the doors of the Women’s Center in Overland Park.

 

The Women’s Center is part of our Overland Park office – this imaging suite in the big building at the corner of College Blvd and Nall is dedicated to mammography, breast ultrasound and DEXA (bone density) scans. We will see men at this office – men sometimes need breast imaging or DEXA studies.

 

Our front desk works to put you at ease. Our technologists are trained to not only be specialists in their chosen fields but also in their bedside manner. And our patients aren’t just a number. We strive to tailor the exam to whatever it is you need most. Which brings us back to the dancing and the day of our mammogram dance.

 

There was no music, no disco balls or strobe lighting. There was a woman, dutifully coming in for her annual screening mammogram. There was her toddler grandson. And then there was a quiet, empty waiting room. How else to kill the time and shake off a little nervous energy? We danced.

 

WE danced – first the little boy started bopping about, then his grandmother got in on it, next thing you know, the DIC staff was shakin’ it up like the best of ‘em. Surely, a sight to behold if anyone had walked in on us – but nevermind that. Everyone laughed and felt better about their day from that point forward.

 

Magic happens when people care about each other. And magic happens everyday at the Women’s Center at Diagnostic Imaging Centers. If you want to see for yourself, head on down to suite 110 at 5520 College Boulevard in Overland Park, KS. We provide mammograms with immediate results, and follow-up imaging (such as ultrasound) the same day if needed. We can’t promise a dance every day – but you never know!

(Image credit: Dancing by Katri Niemi via Flickr Copyright Creative CommonsAttribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))

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

May 19, 2014

Introducing Diagnostic Imaging Centers’ Overland Park Location (Part 1)

It’s Monday! Back to work and time to introduce you to our office in Overland Park, Kansas, just off the highway at College and Nall.

 

photoIn Overland Park, our office has grown over the years, and we have three separate office suites at the same site capable of fulfilling all of your imaging needs. In the multi-story building we have a general radiology center and a women’s health suite;  the adjacent one-story building is the site for MRI, open MRI and CT exams.

 

The general radiology suite (#100) is home to a team of 13 employees, ranging in specialities from fluoroscopic imaging to ultrasound, to nuclear medicine. Our front desk staff will greet you with a smile. If you have need to speak with our medical records staff, this is the office where they are located – although they can be reached by calling any of our offices.

 

What’s really great about this team of employees isn’t just their expertise in their fields of work but their attitude as a team.

 

First off, they are a team – truly working together to help each other out. This attitude of togetherness is focused on taking care of our patients as expertly and quickly as possible. From the moment someone walks in the door, our Overland Park staff aim to put people at ease and bring comfort to a procedure which may be stressful. The Overland Park office is comfortable with and has experience imaging patients of all ages – children needing imaging tests and their parents will be reassured to know we can handle children’s special imaging needs. We perform lots of fluoroscopic procedures at this office, including barium studies of the GI tract, arthrograms (special studies to look at the joints) and hysterosalpingograms or HSGs to help look for patency of the uterine tubes in women trying to become pregnant. Many of our patients are comforted to know that results can be phoned to their doctor’s office immediately.

 

Our employees are not only talented and well- educated – they are genuine people with passions for great causes (everything from the ASPCA to the Humane Society to Miles for Melanoma Research Foundation). They enjoy their part in meeting your health care needs and are passionate about caring for people as individuals. If you need a hand to hold during a procedure (don’t worry – many do!) or are so happy when you’re done you need a hug (don’t be surprised – many do!) our technologists are the folks there to help you out!

 

We like to share on our blogs what to expect when it comes to medical imaging, but we also like to share what to expect when you meet us. We want you to feel safe and comfortable. We often say we work for your best possible health, and our Overland Park Kansas team hopes to meet your imaging needs completely. Thanks for letting us help you.

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