Posts tagged ‘ultrasound’

June 16, 2014

Introducing… Diagnostic Imaging Centers’ Lee’s Summit Clinic!

Lees SummitDiagnostic Imaging CentersLee’s Summit clinic is typical to DIC in their passion for people… and typical in having some lively characters for colleagues!

 

Located just off of 470 in Lee’s Summit, this mid-sized clinic offers a multitude of imaging modalities including bone density, CT, mammograms, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, x-ray and MRI (both “open-sided” and “open-ended”). It also offers a colorful staff of compassionate teammates: from the front desk to the techs to the doctors and manager, everyone has a story.

 

If you’re nervous about your procedure, we won’t just tell you to magically “not be” but we will entertain all questions, and likely as not be entertaining along the way. From the smallest of solutions for curious children to the most thoughtful provisions for claustrophobic adults we make the experiences for our patients as comfortable as possible.

 

When one tech was asked recently about any challenge she encountered and how she solved it. She said there are a lot of interesting opportunities to help different people throughout the day, but in this instance she had to take an x-ray of a small child who had a spectrum disorder. The little one was a bit squirmy and didn’t respond to her usual tricks of showing stickers to get him to hold still.

 

However, when she went to adjust the x-ray film, the machine door made a click sound which mesmerized him. So she played with the door a few times and he finally calmed down enough to take a quick shot. It was a simple ploy, but the heart of the matter was taking the time to find something that worked – and it did! No one was frustrated or at a loss for what to do. It was just a matter of “reading” the patient’s needs and accommodating.

 

What was most interesting about her experience, she explained, was that it was in some ways an “everyday thing.” Needs are different for everyone. Every patient is unique and as long as we keep listening carefully, we can help them all.

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 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!

 

June 9, 2014

Introducing… DIC’s Plaza Location!

DIC at plazaThe Plaza office of Diagnostic Imaging Centers (located at 48th and Main, just upstairs from the library) is one of several places we get to call “home.” With staff who have been with us for 40+ years in midtown Kansas City, it pretty much is home!

 

Speaking of homes… just as a home is a place of comfort, we strive to put every person at ease when they come to our home away from home – not  just an office, but a place to come for imaging with care.

 

When talking to the staff at DIC’s Plaza clinic, one of the most resounding points they make about loving the work they do is people: co-workers and patients alike. It’s not just that they care about others, it’s the opportunity to show it that matters.

 

“One of my favorite things about working here is being able to give immediate results for mammograms,” said one tech. Said another, “It’s all about communication.” Being forthright about what’s going on during a procedure is necessary for great results. Whether it’s allowing a young person to hold the wand for an ultrasound or allowing them to put the gel on themselves – anything to take the fear-of-the-unknown out of the equation, that’s what we seek to do.

 

The DIC way of showing we care exists in all ways, large and small. From the first point of contact with a receptionist to the exam itself all the way to the exit door, someone is with you. Everyone who comes to our clinics gets a thank you card with the manager’s number on it should they have any questions or comments.

 

The Plaza location of Diagnostic Imaging Centers is just one more example of how hard we work to give the best possible in imaging. Conveniently located, with convenient hours… we are your home for imaging!

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 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 atwww.mammographykc.com and general radiology atwww.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!

 

May 30, 2014

Introducing… DIC’s Olathe Clinic!

photoUnknown-4Walking into Diagnostic Imaging CentersOlathe Clinic is… shiny and new!

 

With a recent move, everything is upgraded and new – a complete overhaul of equipment brought us to the most recent and state of the art technology available today. There’s even a thoughtfulness to the equipment – we made equipment upgrades with our patients in mind.

 

Our new CT scanner has low dose technology and can do amazing 3D imaging.  Our MR scanner is open technology with high strength imaging a combination that says you’re comfortable and we are getting the best possible images you. This MRI also does high quality imaging of joint replacements, that’s great news to many people with pain after joint replacement. This is a full service imaging clinic, performing everything from ultrasounds to digital mammograms, MRIs to CTs to x-rays, fluoroscopy and bone density scans. In short – it’s all there!

 

You will love our staff too. This is a diverse and educated group. They are passionate, too.  We asked them what groups they like to support, and we thought we’d give a shout-out to (just to name a few…) Made to Serve, NASCAR Foundation, March of Dimes, Wayside Waifs, American Diabetes Association, Ozanam, Autism Society and PurpleStride Awareness Walks! In short, we have dog-lovers, healthcare nuts and children’s health fanatics. This is addition to their greatest passions – for people.

 

When asked what they loved best about their jobs, everyone jumped in with exclamations about interesting patients and great co-workers. They are truly lovers of human beings. Also, they’re pretty thrilled about the new location. The Olathe clinic was thoughtful put together – and thanks to an amazing staff it is thoughtfully held together too!

When you need us our what you see us we can be found at 13795 S. Mur-Len Road in Olathe, KS, just across the road from Mid-American Nazarene University. Come on by sometime.

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!

April 29, 2014

Case Study: Pyloric Stenosis or “Why Babies Get Ultrasounds”

pyloric stenosis

pyloric stenosis

We don’t like to expose infants to radiation, however sometimes we need to take a look inside. (Cue celebratory music…) This is why ultrasound is so fabulous! It’s real-time, harmless, noninvasive, short-lived and highly helpful.

 

Today’s case study covers an instance of an 8-week-old male infant with pyloric stenosis. Classically this disorder occurs at 2-8 weeks of age in male infants. The disorder is most common in Caucasian males and can run in families. The infants present with forceful projectile vomiting that can get progressively worse. Poor weight gain often results. Such was the case with this little one.

 

Today, we use ultrasound to image kids that are suspected of having pyloric stenosis (back in the old days we made the diagnosis with an upper GI exam done with fluoroscopy and X-rays – no longer necessary for the majority).  With ultrasound we use a probe gently placed on the baby’s abdomen to image the pylorus, a muscle which sits at the connection between the stomach and the small intestine. Ultrasound allows us to see the overdeveloped muscle that causes blockage between the stomach and the small intestine, impeding the progress of milk out of the stomach – vomiting and weight loss follow!

 

This condition is highly treatable after the diagnosis is made. Most often, simple surgery to open the muscle is used to put an infant back on track to weight gain and health. Here’s one more example of how ultrasound has impacted little lives. We love to image soundly!

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!

 

April 22, 2014

Knees: Scrapes, Twists and Tears

Image

Knees are famous for scrapes (and bees). Little kids play rough and tumble and when they do, they land on ‘em. Little band-aids on a child’s knees are almost – dare we say – cute. They remind us of learning to ride bikes and popsicles on summer days and swingset leaps. Luckily, kids’ knees are resilient.

 

As we get older – not so much. Knees take a beating and unfortunately they’re really only meant to bend in one direction. We could go on and on about knee maladies (arthritis anyone?) but let’s pick one: sports injuries.

 

As we graduate from learning to ride bikes to learning to ski and more, we introduce a lot more opportunities to scrape, bang, twist and torque our knees. Knee injuries are incredibly common, especially in sports. There are a variety of tissues to damage – from bone to muscle to tendons to ligaments. Imaging may be needed to see all of the complex structures.

 

With sports injuries, damage to ligaments may occur, especially with twisting or blows from the side – ligaments (connecting bone to bone) include the anterior cruciate (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligaments which cross (cruciate comes from the Latin for “cross”) the center of the knee. The medial and lateral collateral ligaments stabilize the inner and outer aspects of the knee respectively.

 

Sometimes with a twisting motion, multiple structures will be involved in the injury. MRI is an excellent means of imaging the knee, allowing us to look at bone, soft tissue and cartilage all at the same time. You can even give a good estimation of the way a knee was injured based on the pattern of injuries present on the MRI. Injury to the ACL happens in athletes of all ages. The ligament can be torn partially or completely, and knee instability in a classic pattern will often be found on clinical exam of the knee.  ACL tears are often associated with bone bruises in classic places, and may be associated with damage to the other soft tissue structures, from other ligaments to meniscal tears.

Tendons (which connect muscles to bone) may also be injured – either the quadriceps tendon  coming to the top of the patella (kneecap), or the patellar tendon, coming from the bottom of the patella.  Often the tears can be felt by your doctor on exam. Imaging, often with MRI or with ultrasound, may be necessary to see if the tear is complete and look for other injuries. Muscle injury can also occur, and is well-imaged by MRI.

The menisci are discs of cartilage between the femur and tibia which provide cushioning and which can get torn. This can cause a sensation of something locking in the knee with motion (although other things can also do that) or may just cause pain. Meniscal tears are well-seen on MRI, and may also be evaluated with arthrography.

 

As with shoulders – you want to take care of your knees and keep ‘em strong. This doesn’t mean don’t play – it just means play smart. Other things you can do to help protect your knees can be found here.

(Photo credit: trufflekneehighs by boocub via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))

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