Fighting Lung Diseases With Health Screenings


Health screenings are used in many aspects of the medical profession to prevent the progression of diseases, to assess symptoms and to try to prevent the development of illness.  One of the more common areas where screening is used is in lung health. 
An estimated 154,050 Americans were expected to die from lung cancer in 2018, which accounts for around 25 percent of all cancer deaths, according to the American Lung Association.

Common Lung Disorders & Their Symptoms

Smoking is a leading cause of chronic respiratory diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These diseases are major conditions of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD and lung cancer could become uncommon in future generations if smoking rates were reduced, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms of these lung disorders include, but are not limited to, worsening cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, and back pain, among others. The symptoms are not very specific, and can often be attributed to other ailments. This makes screening all too important.

Below is a brief explanation of each condition.

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Lung conditions marked by the inability to exhale normally.
    Chronic bronchitis: A type of COPD distinguished by a chronic cough.
    Emphysema: Lung damage that allows air to be trapped in your lungs and reduces the patient’s ability to blow out air.
    Lung cancer can develop in any part of the lungs. Your treatment options depend on the type, location, and the spread of lung cancer in your body.

How Early Detection Saves Lives

Early detection for these diseases is crucial to any patient’s health.  With any disease, the earlier it is detected, the earlier it can be fought.  With lung disorders, it is highly beneficial for patients who have a history of smoking or chronic lung issues to get tested regularly.

Depending on the stage of lung cancer, treatment options include radiation, surgery, chemotherapy, and medications.  The earlier the stage, the more options your doctor has to treat the condition effectively.

Science Supports Low-Dose CT Scans as Lung Cancer Screening

While the reduction of smoking rates is the best solution for lung diseases, early screening is the best way to catch the diseases early, and to reduce the chances of death.  A newly accepted method of screening for lung cancer is an annual screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT).

The results of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) found that screening with low-dose computed tomography scans compared to chest X-ray reduced lung cancer deaths among older heavy smokers by 15-20 percent.

Should You Get a Lung Cancer Screening?

Your primary care doctor is your first stop for discussing your smoking history, lung health, and lung cancer risks. If you need to find a low-dose CT lung screening, call Doctors Imaging.

Get the Facts on Lung Health

Getting an Ultrasound to Better Diagnose Thyroid Problems

For many people, thyroid problems often go untreated. They differ from other endocrine issues in that the symptoms can imitate fatigue, sleeplessness or the common cold. People can live for years with the symptoms without ever realizing there is an issue.

About the Thyroid and Thyroid Disorders

The thyroid is located in the front of the neck, right underneath the Adam’s apple, with two lobes on either side of the neck. It is a crucial part of the body because it releases hormones that are needed for every organ and process in the body. When the thyroid is having difficulty, everything from digestion to mood can be altered.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid is releasing too many hormones into the body. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include an increased appetite accompanied by weight loss, feelings of excitement-heart palpitations, increased heart rate, abnormal perspiration.

Increases in daily bowel movements and the development of a goiter-an enlarged mass in the neck are indicative of a thyroid problem.

On the other end of the spectrum, if the thyroid is not producing enough hormones, the body’s functions suffer as well. Hormones are essential for starting, stopping, and maintaining the processes of the body — including appetite, instincts, and height. If your body is not producing enough hormones, you may notice an increased sensitivity to cold, tingling or the feeling of “pins and needles” in the hands and fingers. Some notice a reduced heart rate and prominent fatigue as well.

Diagnosing Thyroid Disorders With Ultrasound

Thyroid problems are common for as many as 20 million Americans, 60% of whom do not even realize their condition. According to the American Thyroid Association, women are 5 to 8 times more likely to develop thyroid problems and leaving thyroid disease undiagnosed can lead to cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and infertility. Fortunately, determining thyroid problems is relatively easy. Most physicians will recommend having a blood test performed and an ultrasound scan in order to determine the presence of a thyroid disorder.

Ultrasounds use sound waves in order to interpret the inner happenings of the body, including checking to see if the thyroid contains a cyst or tumor. They are non-invasive. But sometimes physicians use ultrasounds to guide biopsy needles because ultrasound images can be seen in real-time. Ultrasounds cause no pain and there is no risk of radiation exposure either. Many people think that ultrasounds are only used during pregnancy but ultrasounds are one preferred method for many conditions like heart murmurs, prostate complications, and internal bleeding.

When examining the thyroid gland, technicians will place the transducer (ultrasound wand) over the thyroid in order to observe its size and shape.

If you have any of the symptoms above or are worried that you may be developing thyroid complications, talk to your doctors. And, if needed, make your ultrasound appointment with Doctors Imaging. You can call 504-883-8111 or by fill out the Request an Appointment Form.

Learn More Thyroid Health and Ultrasounds

Radiologist Explains Thyroid Ultrasound by RadiologyInfo.org

Get the Facts on Thyroid Disorders

January is Thyroid Awareness Month promoted by the American Thyroid Association. Most of us will be lucky to go our entire lives blissfully unaware of this butterfly-shaped gland in our neck that regulates our hormones.


But, amazingly, 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop thyroid problems at some point in their lives. This means that 20 million Americans have some kind of thyroid disorder. To put that number into perspective, that is more than twice the total population of New York City. Women are between five and eight times more likely to have a thyroid problem than men, which means one in every eight women will experience a problem in their lifetime.

These statistics may seem alarming. But it’s important to realize that most thyroid disorders are manageable with treatment. And because the causes for thyroid disorders are largely unknown, it is imperative that people get tested.

Screenings and early treatment help allow the significant number of Americans with thyroid problems live normal and healthy lives. At Doctors Imaging, we offer high-resolution thyroid ultrasound to evaluate thyroid problems. We offer these non-invasive scans at a price up to 50 percent less than the neighboring hospitals helping keep the New Orleans community as healthy as possible.

Learn More Thyroid Health and Ultrasounds

Radiologist Explains Thyroid Ultrasound by RadiologyInfo.org

5 Reasons to Get Your MRI or CT Scan at Doctors Imaging

Do you need an MRI, Ultrasound or CT scan? Whenever you do, many doctors’ practices assume you’ll have the test performed in their hospital or affiliated facility. After all, it’s convenient for them. On the other hand, you may have different ideas about what’s convenient, comfortable, and affordable for you.

Here are five reasons to choose Doctors Imaging for your next MRI, CT scan, or X-ray instead of the hospital.

  1. 100% Transparent: Be careful. The staff at your doctor’s office may be under pressure to schedule you at their own hospital imaging department — even if it costs you more. Most hospitals are reluctant to tell you about the total cost of your test. In contrast, the service specialists at Doctors Imaging are friendly, accessible, and transparent about the lower cost of our services.
  2. We can save you money: Many hospitals fail to tell you that you may be charged separate reading fees from their radiologists — another 15% to 25% on top of their high prices. At Doctors Imaging, we have one low fee. Does your insurance plan have a high deductible? If so, ask us about our discounted prices for patients who don’t have insurance or prefer not to use it.
  3. High Quality: Doctors Imaging is committed to advanced imaging technology that is meticulously maintained and frequently updated. Our radiologists are board-certified. Our imaging staff is registered and certified. At the end of the day, we produce medical imaging that is as good or better than the exams produced in a busy hospital. And we think you’ll appreciate our calm office environment; it’s nothing like a hospital.
  4. Insurance: We accept every major insurance including Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers Compensation plans. At Doctor Imaging, you may also enjoy significantly lower costs for the portion of your test not covered by insurance.
  5. Convenience: Unfortunately, it’s not unheard for patients to wait weeks for routine tests at other facilities. But at Doctors Imaging, we provide easy scheduling. We can usually offer you an appointment for the same day or the next day. The hospital staff has to juggle scheduled patients as well as sick and critically ill patients. But at Doctors Imaging, you’ll walk through a quiet waiting room on your way to your exam. We also have plenty of free parking on the first floor, just steps from our front door. You’ll be in and out of our Metairie office before you know it. And we get your exam results to your doctor fast — usually the next day. When your results are ready, you’ll have 24/7 access to our online Patient Portal so you can read your reports and see your pictures for yourself.

Here’s a reminder: It’s OK to talk to your doctor and their staff about skipping the hospital the next time you need a CAT scan, an X-ray, or any other imaging exam. You have the right to choose your imaging facility. You can even choose a different imaging facility after leaving your doctor’s office. It’s true. You can take your written orders wherever you like or simply ask your doctor to send your imaging order to Doctors Imaging.

By choosing Doctors Imaging, you’ll save time and money while you take charge as an active participant in your health care. Call us to start getting the quality, convenience, and service you deserve. You can also request your next appointment online.

Interested in learning more about what it’s like to visit Doctors Imaging? Try these resources:

Tell your doctor you’re choosing Doctors Imaging

What Exams Do Ex-Smokers Need After Quitting?

Quitting smoking can be one of the most challenging addictions to overcome. But it can also the most beneficial.

According to the Center for Disease Control, on average 443,000 people die every year as a result of cigarette smoking and another 8.6 million live with a disease attributed to smoking. Tobacco companies have dedicated countless hours and funds toward finding the perfect amount of nicotine to keep consumers addicted. If you are one of the lucky few that is able to quit smoking then you have already given yourself a longer and healthier lifestyle.

But if you are or were a long-term smoker, then there are still health risks that you should be conscious of, and give proper medical attention to.

Common Medical Imaging Tests Ex-Smokers May Need

Below is a list of some medical imaging procedures that former cigarette smokers should consider having performed in order to determine the damaging effects that smoking may have had on their health.

CT Scan / CAT Scan

A CT Scan can be beneficial for a former smoker in that it examines the organs and structures of the chest cavity. Since the area of the body that is most affected by cigarette smoking is the lungs, examining all areas of the pulmonary system is essential. By using X-ray and computer technology, CT-scans provide cross-sectional images of the lung, liver and heart tissues. CT scans are also useful in diagnosing cancer and guiding biopsy procedures in the event that your doctor finds something that needs further examination. Screening for Lung Cancer with Low-Dose CT is now recommended annually for certain former or current heavy smokers aged 55-80 years. Doctors Imaging offers the test for $99.00 and you can call to schedule after you have a doctor’s order. If the cost of the test is a problem, call Doctors Imaging and ask to make special arrangements.

MRI

Another harmful effect of long-term cigarette addiction is the narrowing and damage to the body’s blood vessels. This is a dangerous effect because it can lead to stroke and heart attack. By having an MRI procedure performed, images of the blood vessels in the heart, brain, kidneys, aorta, and extremities can be properly seen and examined.

Ultrasounds

Many think that ultrasounds are just for pregnancy, but ultrasounds are non-invasive and so detailed today that they can provide four-dimensional images of the internal cavities. Ultrasounds are useful if you experience chest pains or heart palpitations, both common in long-term smokers, as ultrasounds are beneficial for the examination of the blood flow and heart valve functions.

What’s the Next Healthy Step for You?

The vast majority of these procedures are relatively non-invasive and can provide fast and detailed results. If you have already taken the first step in obtaining a healthier lifestyle by quitting smoking, then give yourself another benefit, get screened for lung cancer with a CT scan and learn what your body needs to be healthier and live longer.

If you would like to schedule a lung cancer screening CT or you have questions about lung cancer in Louisiana or lung cancer symptoms you can call us at 504-883-8111. You can also Book an Appointment online.

Get the Facts on Tobacco, Vaping and Lung Health


Is It Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Pulmonary Embolism?

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot moves through the bloodstream and becomes lodged in a blood vessel in the lungs. Similarly, in a condition called deep vein thrombosis, clots form in the deep veins of the body, usually in the legs. A blood clot that breaks free and travels through a blood vessel is called an embolism. In either case, you’ll need medical treatment right away to prevent a blood clot from blocking blood flow to your lungs or your heart.

According to the CDC, between 60,000 and 100,000 Americans die every year from deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism and as many as 900,000 people could be affected.

Sometimes these conditions are present with no symptoms at all. Otherwise, symptoms may include swelling, pain, and tenderness, often in the legs. Risk factors include hormone therapy, pregnancy, and extended periods of immobility such as a long car or plane trip.

Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism

Call your doctor right away if you have these DVT symptoms, especially if they appear suddenly:

  • Swelling in one or both legs
  • Pain or tenderness in your leg, ankle, foot, or arm. It might feel like a cramp or charley horse that you can’t get rid of. Leg and foot pain might only happen when you stand or walk.
  • Warm skin on your leg
  • Red or discolored skin on your leg
  • Veins that are swollen, red, hard, or tender to the touch that you can see

Symptoms of an urgent condition include:

  • Sudden coughing, which may bring up blood
  • Sharp chest pain or chest tightness
  • Pain in your shoulder, arm, back, or jaw
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain when you breathe
  • Severe lightheadedness
  • Fast heartbeat

Tests Your Doctor May Order to Diagnose Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

Your doctor will usually begin by obtaining your medical history, as this may provide information about factors that caused the clot. In addition to performing a physical exam, your doctor may order one or more of the following tests:

  • Blood tests, such as D-dimer: This test looks for a protein that shows up in your blood when a clot starts to break down. If you have a clot, levels will be high.
  • Chest x-ray
  • CT Angiography: This non-invasive CT scan uses x-rays and an iodine-containing contrast material to produce pictures of the chest highlighting the blood vessels in the chest and lungs.
  • ECG (electrocardiography)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): You’ll lie still on a table while radio waves and a strong magnetic field make detailed pictures of the inside of your body on a computer. (You’ll hear loud tapping or knocking sounds during the test.) You might need to get an injection of contrast material to make your blood vessels show up better. An MRI can find DVT in your pelvis and thigh.
  • Venous ultrasound: This test uses sound waves to confirm the presence of a blood clot. Doppler ultrasound is a special technique that allows the doctor to see and evaluate blood flow through arteries and veins throughout your body. If the results are inconclusive, your doctor may use venography or MR angiography.
  • Venography: This is a special X-ray. The doctor injects a radioactive dye into a vein on the top of your foot to help them see your veins and maybe a clot.
  • V/Q Lung scan: This nuclear medicine exam uses a small amount of radioactive material (called a radiotracer) and a special camera to create pictures that show how blood and air are flowing throughout the lungs.

Learn More About DVT, PE, Blood Clots

CT Scans for Diagnosing Pulmonary Embolism

What is a CT Scan or CAT Scan?

A CT scan uses a technique that combines X-rays to create a cross-sectional view of your body. You may hear a CT Scan called a CAT Scan.

What Does CT Stand For?

CT ScanCT stands for “computed tomography.” Tomography comes from the Greek word tomos meaning “slice.” Tomography refers to any form of imaging displaying a cross-section through the body or object using either X-ray or other technologies. Computed tomography is combining the X-ray features with computer technology in order to create highly detailed images or slices that physicians use to diagnose and treat patients.

How Do CT Scans Work?

CT scans are extremely beneficial because they allow medical professionals to see into the interior of the body without making incisions. This technology was not available 40 years ago which led to a lot of invasive, exploratory procedures that may or may not have yielded conclusive results.

CT scans use the power of X-rays and computer software in order to create medical images. The equipment looks like a large circular chamber with a bed inside. You’ll lie down and are then slowly moved inside the circular chamber or “gantry.” The that you are lying on will move you in and out of the gantry. The interior of the chamber is equipped with video and microphone so CT technicians and doctors can still hear and see you.

CT scans do not take too much time, at most 30-45 minutes. It is very important for patients to remain as still as possible in order to produce the clearest images. Inside the CT’s opening, on one side there is an X-ray tube that emits X-rays and on the other side of the circle is a large detector. As the machine makes an entire rotation,  X-rays move through the body and are caught by the detector. The detector captures the X-rays as one “slice” or angle and transfers them to computer software that translates the image.

What are CT scans used for?

What a CT scan searching for in the body is dependent on what the patient needs. Doctors use CTs for a number of reasons: broken bones, cardiovascular problems, blood clots, bleeding, cancer detection and much more. At Doctors Imaging in Metairie, our CT machine ensures a thorough examination for patients and accurate diagnosis for doctors.

If you have more questions about what a CT scan is, what to do to prepare for your CT or what to expect, you can visit our CT Services Page. If you would like to schedule a CT appointment you can do so through our Request an Appointment page or you can call our offices at 504-883-8111 Monday through Friday 8:00am until 5:00pm.

Learn More About CT Scans and CAT Scans

What Happens During a Chest CT Scan?

From RadiologyInfo.org

What Should Patients Expect During a Low-Dose CT Scan?

CT scans are used by doctors in order to create detailed cross-sectional images of the internal tissues and organs. By using the lowest possible dose of radiation in combination with computer technology, doctors can give patients clear and accurate diagnoses. For those who have never had this particular imaging procedure performed, this preview might help calm your fears or concerns.

What Is a Low-Dose CT Scan?

CT scans are used by doctors in order to create detailed cross-sectional images of the internal tissues and organs.A CT scan uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology in order to create images. X-rays use a small amount of radiation in order to show the body’s internal structures and produce images. On average, Americans are exposed to 3.1 mSv of radiation annually. CT scans use a slightly higher amount than that and qualified radiologists use the lowest possible dosage based on the size of a patient.

What Happens During the Exam?

CT scanners have the appearance of a tube with a spinning detector that collects the images your radiologist will use. For some procedures, the radiologist may ask that you abstain from eating for one or more hours prior to your examination.

Your CT scan will proceed as follows:

  1. While lying on your back,  a table will move your body slowly, feet-first, through the machine.
  2. If needed, your doctor may request contrast  for your CT scan procedure. Contrast is a substance that is used during imaging procedures to better understand your medical condition. Contrast material will be administered through an IV or by drinking a flavored substance.
  3. As you are moved through the machine, your technologist will be able to see, hear and speak to you.

The images and report are created after the procedure is performed, and you and your personal doctor can review the results  together to determine your treatment options. You may feel a warm sensation or a metallic taste after an injection.
You should inform your doctor if you have medication allergies or an allergy to iodine. You should also let your doctor know if you suffer from diabetes or any heart, thyroid or kidney conditions as contrast material may sometimes cause an adverse reaction in patients with these conditions. Otherwise, CT scans are non-invasive and painless and can provide incredibly useful information for your doctors to use in providing the best treatment options for you.

Doctors Imaging is now offering low-dose CT lung cancer screenings, recommended annually for those at high risk for lung cancer, for the low cost of just $99. Lung screening is performed without contrast.  To schedule your appointment, use our online appointment form or call 504-883-8111.

Learn More About CT Scans and CAT Scans

Common Ultrasound Exams for Women’s Health

Technician uses handheld ultrasound device
Most women are familiar with ultrasounds for supplemental breast cancer screenings and pregnancy imaging, but what are the other occasions when a physician might order an ultrasound exam for women? Learn more about the life-saving capabilities these ultrasound exams provide.

How Ultrasounds Work

Ultrasounds use a combination of sound waves and computer technology to create internal images that doctors and patients seek. Ultrasounds are often used as a preliminary method of imaging. This means that when doctors suspect a problem and think that it is an area that the ultrasound will be able to view, they will use this method first because ultrasounds aren’t invasive or have side effects. Ultrasounds examine the internal organs, tissues and blood flow throughout the body, determining the blood flow through the heart, imaging breast tissue and guiding biopsy needles.

Almost any part of the body can undergo an ultrasound exam which makes it a faithful go-to for doctors.

These Are the Ultrasound Exams Many Women Receive

BREAST CARE: Ultrasound of the breast may be used for women who are at high risk for breast cancer or women who are pregnant and should not be exposed to x-rays used in a mammogram. Ultrasound of the breast can also be used to screen women who have dense breast tissue, meaning there are a lot of ducts, glands, fibrous tissue and less fat making it harder to find cancers with a mammogram.

HEART HEALTH: A major benefit that ultrasounds can provide for women is helping women determine their possibility of heart attack or stroke. Both of these conditions occur when the blood flow to the brain or heart is blocked. By using ultrasound technology, doctors can hear problems like weak valves, blockages, and murmurs. Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world and the highest killer of women around the world. The best way to combat this statistic, besides better health, diet, and exercise, is to have regularly scheduled check-ups with your primary care physician. As you get older, your doctor will likely recommend several kinds of tests to determine your cardiac health, so don’t forget to sign up for a cardiac ultrasound. The ability to see movement via ultrasound is particularly beneficial for those women concerned with their cardiac health as the movement of blood will be the biggest indicator of that problem.

PELVIC: In women, a pelvic ultrasound is most often performed to evaluate these parts of the body:

  • uterus
  • cervix
  • ovaries
  • bladder

Ultrasound examinations can help diagnose symptoms experienced by women such as:

  • pelvic pain
  • abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • other menstrual problems

Ultrasound exams also help identify:

  • palpable masses such as ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids
  • ovarian or uterine cancers

PREGNANCY: Ultrasounds are the best form of medical imaging for expectant mothers because ultrasounds are non-invasive and do not have the concern of radiation. Mothers can see their baby’s outline, hear their heartbeat and determine their child’s health.

TRANSVAGINAL: These exams go across or through the vagina (the genital canal in the female, extending from the uterus to the vulva). A transvaginal ultrasound is usually performed to view the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) and the ovaries. Transvaginal ultrasound also evaluates the myometrium (muscular walls of the uterus). Sonohysterography allows for a more in-depth investigation of the uterine cavity. These exams are typically performed to detect:

  • uterine anomalies
  • uterine scars
  • endometrial polyps
  • fibroids
  • cancer, especially in patients with abnormal uterine bleeding

Learn More About Ultrasound Exams

Common Ultrasound Exams for Men and How They Help

When checking for male-specific health problems, doctors frequently use ultrasound exams for men’s scrotum and testicular health. The goal of any imaging procedure is to have a clear picture of the examined area so that a physician can make the best treatment choice for you. If you are a man and wondering what the advantages could be to having an ultrasound performed, you may want to learn more about your upcoming ultrasound exam below before scheduling an appointment.

Ultrasounds use sound waves to create images. The same way that sonar works for marine science, sound waves are emitted through the body and when they come into contact with a structure, whether it is an organ or other mass, that structure sends the sound waves back to the ultrasound machine. The machine then interprets the sound waves to determine things like size and location.

Ultrasound procedures are completely painless. They also do not use ionizing radiation, so they are considered harmless.

Ultrasound Exams for Scrotum and Testicular Health

Ultrasounds are best for providing images of the scrotum and surrounding tissues. Ultrasound imaging of the scrotum is usually completed within 15 to 30 minutes, though sometimes more time is necessary. Physicians use ultrasound technology to determine the presence of masses, infertility, and testicular injury.

  • Ultrasounds are also used for checking the possibility of testicular cancer.
  • Pain, swelling, inflammation could be symptomatic of epididymitis or testicular torsion, a condition that reduces blood supply to the scrotum and requires immediate surgery.
  • Undescended testes affect up to 30% of boys, and if not properly monitored the condition contains a high risk of developing cancer.

After your ultrasound exam, a radiologist will analyze your ultrasound images. Next, the radiologist will send a signed report to the doctor who ordered your exam. Finally, your doctor will share the results with you or you can log in to our patient portal for a summary of the exam results.

Are you looking for an Ultrasound facility in Louisiana? Make an appointment with Doctors Imaging through our online appointment request form or by calling 504-883-8111.

Learn More About Ultrasound Exams