Posts tagged ‘x-ray’

June 30, 2014

Introducing… Indy!

independence-officeIn our final installment of the “Introducing Diagnostic Imaging Centers” series, we’d like to introduce our Independence, Missouri location.

 

Indy, as it is affectionately known, is a wonderful clinic full of compassionate staff and expert radiologists. Found at 4911 Arrowhead Drive, it is conveniently located near the intersection of highways 70 and 470/291.

 

As at most of our offices, we offer a full range of modalities: breast imaging, CT, DEXA (bone density), MRI (both traditional and “open”), nuclear medicine, ultrasound, fluoroscopy and x-ray. Walk-in appointments are available for many modalities, including CT and mammography – have some time? Come on by and our dedicated staff will take care of you!

 

Our patients love the care they receive at this office – from the smiles at the front desk to the above and beyond care they get from technologists to doctors. With good-humored colleagues, the Indy team is serious about their work and lighthearted in their approach to life. From the front desk, to the technologists, they embrace their tasks with professionalism while putting patients at ease. If you require imaging procedures, you have a choice in where to go and the DIC staff at our Independence office and at all of our facilities appreciate you choosing to come to us.

 

Passionate about top quality imaging care, the team at Indy has passions beyond their work. From the Komen Foundation to Head for the Cure to gardening and grandkids, DIC-ers are a caring lot. For our staff, caring about people is more than a job.

 

But to quote LaVar Burton, you don’t have to take our word for it… here’s what our patients had to say about their experiences at our Independence office:

 

“Nikki (front desk) is awesome and smiles every time I am here!”

 

“Stephen went above and beyond for services. Dr. Koury went even farther, if that is possible. Many thanks to both of them!”

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 25, 2014

Lung Cancer Screening Gets Another Leg Up

Symbol kept vote Green by Zorglub via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 UnportedThe votes in support of low-dose screening CT chest for high risk smokers are growing. Recently the American Medical Association – the largest association of doctors from all specialties in the US – added their support to guidelines recommending this potentially life-saving exam.

 

Lung cancer is a killer. In the US, lung cancer causes more deaths than breast + prostate + colon cancer – more deaths than all of those cancers combined! Studies on low-dose CT screening (the National Lung Screening Trial) showed early detection saves lives! There was a 20% reduction in deaths in heavy smokers from lung cancer due to CT screening in this study. This is why low dose chest CT is so crucial. Finding lung cancer early, when it is potentially treatable is the goal of screening.

 

As accredited members of the American College of Radiology, we are thrilled that the ACR is fighting to support the recommendations of the United States Preventative Services Task Force for high-risk patients. (Read all about it here.) The Task Force recommended coverage beginning January 2015 for high risk patients, including those 55-80 years with significant smoking histories (defined as greater than a 30 pack-year history of smoking) or for those who were former heavy smokers who have quit in the last 15 years. The Task Force recommendations will apply to those patients with insurance.

 

The fight for coverage of Medicare patients is still on-going, and is the focus of the ACR and other groups. The Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advising Committee made a controversial stand against support of low-dose CT screening early this year. Medicare will make its final vote in the fall. We think including Medicare patients in coverage for this important, potentially life-saving exam is crucial.

Make your voice heard – add your vote in favor of low-dose screening CT chest for all who will benefit- including Medicare patients! Contact your local congresspersons (here) and let them know you agree.

(Image credit: Symbol kept vote Green by Zorglub via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)

 

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 23, 2014

Introducing… DIC’s Northland Clinic!

North OakHappy Monday! We’re excited to continue our Mondays-are-introduction-days series on the Diagnostic Imaging Centers’ clinic. Today we have… the Northland office!

 

It comes as no surprise that, when talking to staff here, the resounding theme of love for their jobs is people – something that all DIC’s locations have in common. They appreciate and respect their co-workers, they love their patients, and they want nothing more than the best possible healthcare experiences for everyone.

 

Some of the ways our team has found to improve the healthcare experience for patients include finding small ways to solve larger problems, such as claustrophobia. Another CT tech explained that he’s learned some basic, important terms (like “hold your breath for a moment please”) in other languages.

 

Whether it’s greeting someone in their native tongue or helping reduce MRI anxiety, caring shines through. We also found that their passions don’t end at the door: from KomenKC to KCPT to the Nelson-Atkins, DIC-ers put their energy into keeping their hometown awesome and everyone healthy. They are an inspiring crew.

 

In North Kansas City, the best “care” in radiology can be found at 5400 North Oak Trafficway (Suites 119, 206), where we perform: bone density (DEXA), mammography, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, x-ray, fluoroscopy and MRI, both “open” and “closed.”

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!

 

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 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!

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 8, 2014

Imaging of the Lumbar Spine

Lumbar vertebrae anterior by Anatomography via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative Commons  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.1 JapanTo continue our conversation about back pain, today we’re going to focus on the different imaging tests that may be requested to evaluate someone with back pain, specifically lower back pain. Imaging for lower back pain will likely focus on the lumbar spine. It’s the lower back region, usually the lower 5 vertebral levels – the series of vertebrae highlighted in the picture here.

 

There are several modalities we use to examine the lumbar spine, including (but not limited to) x-ray, MRI  and CT.

 

Conventional films or X-rays are often the starting point when evaluating someone with back pain. This allows an overall assessment of alignment and can look for signs of a more serious issue requiring additional imaging, like a fracture or an area of abnormal appearing bone. If the back pain follows recent trauma, is seen in someone with known osteoporosis or is in someone over the age of 70, conventional films may be the imaging study of choice and may be the only imaging needed.

 

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the lumbar spine is the most common imaging test for back pain because of its ability to see details of the soft tissues, including the nerves as well as the bones.  As an added benefit, no radiation is involved. Remember with MRI the images are made with a large magnet and radiofrequency pulses (those are the loud sounds you hear). With MRI we can examine all of the following:  the structure of the discs (the cartilage cushions between the vertebrae) and look for how the disc relates to adjacent nerve roots; the bones that make up the spine including the vertebral bodies;  the conus (the lower end of the spinal cord); and the soft tissues surrounding the area. Imaging takes about 30 minutes, and remember – you can’t have an MRI if you have a pacemaker (most types anyway!) or some implanted devices like stimulators. Lastly for the safety of all you cannot bring metal of any kind into the room!

 

CT (computed tomography) is an additional means of looking at the spine. Images with CT are made with x-rays that are created in a ring around the body allowing the body to be imaged in thin slices. CT allows an excellent look at the bones making up the spine. It may be the study of choice for evaluation of acute trauma or fracture. Changes in the discs can be seen, but the nerve roots are not visualized in a routine CT. There are times when a CT of the spine is performed after a myelogram – this is a procedure where contrast material is put in the fluid- containing space surrounding the spinal cord and nerve roots. This then allows CT to better evaluate the nerve roots and soft tissues of the spinal canal. A CT scan may be used to help with planning before back surgery. A CT lumbar spine takes around 10 minutes. It should not be used in those who are pregnant unless it is an emergency (as with severe trauma).

 

All of these are straightforward procedures that can give an excellent anatomic evaluation. Remember imaging of the spine will often reveal age-related changes in the discs and bones, not all of which will be associated with symptoms. Imaging is not always needed for back pain – see your doctor to determine if imaging can help get you on the path to your best possible health!

(Image credit: Lumbar vertebrae anterior by Anatomography via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 2.1 Japan)

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 1, 2014

Lung Cancer Screening and (New) Recommendations

smoking kills by André Hengst via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)When it comes to cancer, lung cancer leads the list of the most deadly for men and women in the US. Fighting this disease has been an uphill battle, impeded by the fact that most patients are not diagnosed until late in their disease. Having an effective screening test to identify lung cancer when it is small and treatable has been a goal for years – the development of low-dose CT chest for the screening for lung cancer has brought hope.

 

We are therefore profoundly disappointed that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)’s Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) did not vote to recommend Medicare coverage of low-dose CT screening. Their primary concern is not that is does not find cancer, but that it will find too many things that are not cancer.

 

We disagree with the CMS, as do other (more important!) groups in the US. The United States Preventative Services Task Force (their statement can be found here) recently recommended coverage. This is critical, as those preventive services deemed appropriate by the Task Force are mandated to be covered under the Affordable Care Act. What does that mean? A double standard – those with health insurance will be covered, those with Medicare will not if the CMS acts on the recommendations of their advisory committee.

 

One of the (many!) advocates of low-dose CT screening is the American College of Radiology (their statement can be found here). The ACR supports the use of screening CT chests in those patients at the highest risk – in other words, heavy smokers or heavy former smokers. The National Lung Screening Trial found that there was a 20% reduction in deaths for heavy smokers due to screening (the trial report can be found here). That’s no small number. The ACR is working on developing uniform guidelines to help with interpretation and to reduce the number of false findings – those that seemed to concern the Advisory Committee.

 

Luckily, the CMS is not bound by the recommendations of MEDCAC and action based on the recommendation isn’t expected until late fall of this year. We hope that reevaluation of the data occurs between now and then, so that Medicare patients are covered.

 

If you’d like to know more about lung cancer and what you can do about it, we recommend checking out Free to Breathe. Eliminating the use of tobacco is a larger goal which will more profoundly affect lung cancer in the US – if you smoke, get help to stop.

Imagine attribution: smoking kills by André Hengst via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-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!

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 17, 2014

Shoulder Pain: When You Can’t Shrug It Off

Shoulder joint by National Institute Of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases (NIAMS) via Wikipedia Copright Public DomainThe shoulder is a complex joint of mythical strength (at least if your name is Atlas and you’re carrying the weight of the world on it).

 

From baseball pitching to carrying little kids to lifting overhead, the shoulder gets quite the workout. It’s important to take care of this joint – especially if it’s been injured. One of the most common injuries is to the rotator cuff tendons.

 

There are four tendons surrounding the shoulder to provide stability and assist in the normal range of motion. Pain and limited range of motion are often the first indicators that something could be wrong with those tendons. They can be inflamed, torn partially or torn full-thickness.

 

After an initial evaluation with your primary healthcare professional, you may be sent for imaging. Typically, this area can be evaluated with MRI or an  ultrasound. Some shoulder injuries are difficult to see without some fluid in the joint – this is when an MR arthrogram might be performed. MR arthrograms can evaluate partial tendon tears and provides an excellent evaluation of the labrum or cartilage lining the joint. Labral injuries may be seen in patients who have had a dislocation of their shoulder joint as well as in athletes.

 

Some of the rotator cuff tendons sit underneath the acromioclavicular joint – the smaller part of the joint on top of the shoulder. Changes in the acromioclavicular joint, either differences in the shape of the acromion or degenerative arthritis, may predispose you to problems with the rotator cuff tendons or may lead to chronic tendon irritation or tears.

 

The shoulder is a complex joint, and vital to many daily functions we don’t even think about, such as brushing your hair or lifting your groceries. So if you have an injury, pain or develop difficulty in moving your shoulder, don’t hesitate to see your doctor.

 

And remember – prevention is the best medicine! Stronger shoulders are less likely to incur injury, and strengthening the rotator cuff can be achieved. Here’s a Real Simple way to improve your shoulder health.

(Photo credit: Shoulder joint by National Institute Of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases (NIAMS) via Wikipedia Copright Public Domain)

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!