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.

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What Happens When My Child Gets Medical Imaging?


When children get sick or injured, it’s up to the parents and physicians to work together to find the best treatment options for the child. If your child requires hospitalization or surgery, then your child’s pediatrician will likely order one of these common medical imaging exams for children. Learn more about the common types of medical imaging, as well as the benefits and risks of each procedure.

All About Common Medical Imaging Exams for Children

Ultrasounds

Ultrasounds are one of the most common and frequently used medical imaging procedures.  Ultrasounds use sound waves and computer technology to see into the internal structures of the body. Because of the lack of radiation used, they are completely safe to perform on children. Women will often have several ultrasounds performed throughout their pregnancy and all are harmless. Ultrasounds can help determine conditions like cardiovascular birth defects, dysfunction in the reproductive organs, injuries after traumatic incidents like falls or car accidents, and possible cancerous masses. This procedure is also completely painless for children so there is no need for sedation or anesthesia.

CT Scan / CAT Scan

A CT Scan or CAT scan is another medical imaging procedure that your doctor may ask to perform. CT scans use a combination of X-ray and computer technology to examine the body and form images for further study. CT scans are commonly performed when doctors need cross-sectional images of the internal organs such as the chest cavity, abdominal areas, or the brain. If your doctor needs to perform a pediatric CT, the child may be asked to not eat for several hours prior to the examination so that the images will not be distorted. Children will also have to remain very still and silent during the scan. A common practice for CT scans is to administer contrast material so certain growths or blockages can be seen better. Contrast material can be given to a child through an IV or by swallowing the solution. If your child has allergies or a kidney condition, you should inform the doctor or technician prior to the scan.

CT scans use small amounts of radiation in order to better highlight the different types of structures in the body. Although the dose is relatively small, repeated CT scans can incur a slightly higher risk of cancer. But the advantages in diagnosis that CT scans can provide far outweigh the potential risk. The best way to limit the exposure is to only have CT scans performed when they are essential and to have the mechanisms narrowed onto one part of the child’s body. Discuss options with your doctor and child.

X-Rays

X-rays are another extremely common medical imaging procedure performed on both adults and children. If your child has a recent injury or needs surgery, doctors will often ask that an X-ray be performed to determine conditions like bone fractures, breaks and growth dysfunctions. X-rays are performed relatively quickly so the time your child spends exposed to the small doses of radiation is limited. Ask your doctor or imaging facility if they use analog X-rays or digital. Digital X-rays use much smaller doses of radioactive material to examine the body.

MRI

MRI or a magnetic resonance imaging exam is an imaging practice that doctors will usually perform if the child has a cardiovascular or brain condition, bleeding problems, childhood cancer or a type of growth disorder. MRIs use no forms of radiation so children are safe to have this procedure performed. MRIs use radio and magnetic waves to excite the atoms within the body and then use computer technology to collect these atoms and form the image of the body. Possible points of discomfort for a child would be remaining still for very long and having contrast material administered.

Having any medical imaging procedure performed can be a scary experience for both parents and children. But it is important to remember that these tests are created to improve the health of children. If you have serious reservations or fears, speak with a doctor or technologist about all of your questions. Your child cannot ask these questions, so it your job to stay informed and calm so they can stay healthy and happy.

Doctors Imaging is prepared for your child’s visit to our calm office environment. Scheduling is simple, and you can either do it online, or by simply calling 504-883-8111.

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Finding and Treating Prostate Cancer Early

A cancer diagnosis is never an easy moment. But if it has to come, it’s better to get the news while the cancer is still small or new. Given recent advances in detecting adult cancers, oncology doctors are able to inform their patients about how to treat and heal after a cancer diagnosis.

When found in the early stages, one of the most treatable cancers currently is prostate cancer. With higher standards of preventative testing and more information readily available, more men are finding out that they have prostate cancer in its early stages. According to the CDC, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, and is also one of the leading causes of cancer death in men.

But by keeping annual check-ups and having routine prostate exams, men can catch prostate cancer earlier. This means prostate cancer does not have to be fatal. In fact, many men with prostate cancer will not require aggressive treatment. Instead, their doctors may suggest watchful waiting.

Know the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Do you know the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer? When prostate cancer is developing, men will sometimes notice:

  • bloody urine,
  • difficulty with or frequency of urination,
  • and sexual dysfunction.

Do not ignore these early symptoms for fear of judgment or embarrassment, as early detection can be the key to a successful treatment plan. You’ll thank yourself later.

Early Detection with PSA Tests, Prostate Exams and Medical Imaging

The best way to detect prostate cancer is to schedule and keep regular check-ups with your primary care physician, perform PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tests, as well as have regular prostate exams.

If your doctor finds a prostate problem, your next step may be to schedule an ultrasound imaging exam for further evaluation. Many of us closely associate ultrasounds with pregnant women. However, both men and women can benefit from ultrasound imaging. For men, ultrasounds can determine whether there is a cancer growth around the prostate, whether the prostate gland is enlarged, and can help determine the cause of a man’s infertility.

Because of the location of the prostate, physicians and technicians must insert the transducer wand rectally in order to produce the best images. Because an ultrasound exam creates real-time results, doctors will often use them to guide biopsy wands in preparation for surgery. Although the procedure can be uncomfortable, patients should give primary importance to the information that doctors glean from these exams.

Your doctor may also choose to order an MRI of the prostate, which offers higher resolution images and more precision for detection, biopsy, and future treatment if needed.

Are you concerned about the possibility of prostate cancer or disorder? To access advanced medical imaging equipment and radiological techniques for detecting prostate cancer, come to Doctors Imaging. Our patients always pay less than they would at the hospital. And you won’t have to compromise comfort or service. You can call Doctors Imaging 504.883.8111 or request an appointment online.

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 nuclear medicine images, 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:

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The History of Medical Imaging

The first X-RayMedical imaging is a form of technology that has revolutionized the medical field in the past century.  With these new innovations, doctors were able to elevate the standard of practice and the experience of the patient. Now, areas of pain or trouble can be non-invasively examined and treatment can begin without the patient even needing to go under. But when did the innovation of medical imaging begin?

Read below to take a trip down memory lane and find out how the medical field and the technology industry have been working together to build a better, healthier world.

Röntgen performs X-Ray in 1895

Professor Wilhelm Röntgen accidentally discovers the ability to look through the skin and see the bones of the body while performing experiments on another project. While working with a cathode ray generator, he noticed an image that was left when the cathode rays came into contact with the vacuum tube. He performed the first X-ray on his wife’s hand and even gave the technology the name we use today, calling this discovery “X” rays because they were unsure what exactly they were. This invention was eventually standardized by William Coolidge and his X-ray known as the “Coolidge tube” is what all modern X-ray machines are based from.  The first X-rays required at least 11 minutes of exposure to produce a quality image. Now X-rays take only a few seconds and they use about 2% of the radiation amount seen in the early 20th century machines.

Scientists Use Ultrasounds in the 1960s

The basics of sonar had been discovered and utilized during World War II as a form of maritime warfare. In the early 1960s, scientists discovered that sending sound waves into the body would bounce off the internal structures and then returned to the ultrasound machine to be reformatted into images for doctors to see. This allowed doctors to non-invasively search for tumors and other growths.

Damadian Discovers MRI in 1970

Dr. Raymond Damadian discovers that different animal tissues emit different signals, as well as that cancerous tissues, take much longer to return the signal sent through them. This is the basis for magnetic resonance imaging. In 1977, Dr. Damadian created the first full-body MRI machine which he named the “Indomitable.”

Hounsfield Invents CT Scans in 1972

The 1970s showed the first instance of computer technology mixing into the medical field with Sir Godfrey Hounsfield’s invention of the CT machine. He theorizes that you could see into an object if you took X-rays from different angles of the object through a machine that would appear as “slices” which could then be put together to form an image. With his idea, he formed the first “axial tomography” machine which we now know as the CT machine. In 1979, he received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and was later knighted by the British Royal Family.

Since then, all of these machines have entered into the digital age and are now updated with the latest technology available. This means that there is less potential risk for patients as well as a greater ability to diagnose and treat.

Looking for medical imaging in Louisiana? At Doctors Imaging, we’re Radiologists concerned with patient care. Meet our Radiologists or request your next medical impaging appointment online.

What Can I See With My 4-D Ultrasound?

The advancements made in ultrasound technology have come such a long way in the last ten years. Where we could only make estimations concerning sex, congenital deformities, or health risks before, now with the advent of the 4D ultrasound, doctors and expectant mothers can learn so much more. With 4D ultrasounds, the question shifts from what can you see into what can’t you see?

The traditional two-dimensional ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves to create slices of a fetus and then shade them to make the image easier to see. Technicians and parents could only view the one slice of the image at a time and for some parents, the exhilarating feeling of finally seeing your child was dampened because of the low-quality images. While this technology was sufficient for determining the proper growth, placement, and sex of an unborn child, there are other conditions that could not be determined until the child was born.

Today, however, with the use of 3D and 4D ultrasounds (like the ones in use at our facilities), doctors are better able to diagnose certain conditions and features. 3D ultrasounds take a catalog of echoes using sound waves produced by the transducer (ultrasound wand) and then combine the images in a digital bank to create a more detailed image. With 3D ultrasounds, doctors can determine so much more than just the sex of a child. Facial features like eyes, nose, and lips can be seen. Mothers can count the fingers and toes of their child. But most importantly, physicians can see conditions like cleft lip, the possibility of Down’s Syndrome or other external abnormalities in the fetus.

The difference between a 3D and 4D ultrasound is that a 3D ultrasound is just a singular photograph. A 4D ultrasound combines the image as well as movement so it becomes similar to a short movie for the mother and doctor. With 4D ultrasounds, mothers can see their child’s movements in real-time.

3D ultrasounds allow patients to see their babies or bodies in higher definition and even see movement.

Perhaps it is the clarity of the image or just finally seeing your child’s face, but having these imaging procedures done may promote healthy bonding for the mother and the health of the child.

If you’re looking for ultrasound services in the New Orleans or Metairie, Louisiana area, get in touch with us at Doctors Imaging. We’re radiologists concerned about quality patient care. To make your appointment, either call 504-833-8111 or use our online scheduling form.

Pregnancy and Ultrasounds: Benefits and Innovations

Pregnancy is a joyful time in any woman’s life and also one of the most nerve-wracking. By reading all the books and heeding all suggestions from your doctor, you can help to ensure the safe delivery and future of your unborn child. One tool that your obstetrician will recommend often is an ultrasound procedure. Ultrasounds are effective for examining unborn fetuses because of the non-invasive nature of the procedure as well as the extent of what ultrasounds can reveal. Ultrasound may be done frequently, at the beginning of every trimester. If you have a pre-existing or gestational condition that requires additional medical attention, you’ll want to talk to your specialist concerning your specific situation.

Ultrasounds use sound waves to create images of the interior happenings of the body. Ultrasounds are useful in determining pregnancy as well as in diagnosing infertility problems. There are several types of ultrasounds that can be performed. If you believe you may be pregnant or are having difficulty becoming pregnant, your doctor may order a transvaginal ultrasound to be performed. A transvaginal ultrasound is useful in examining the reproductive organs such as the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes and observing processes like ovulation and implantation. Ultrasounds can also determine abnormalities like ovarian cysts or uterine tilting. If you are currently pregnant, your doctor will most likely perform a traditional, exterior ultrasound on the pelvic region.

Traditional ultrasounds display the interior of the body in flat, darker sections. Now, there are more innovations in the field of pregnancy, and ultrasounds have been upgraded so much that an expectant mother can even determine the facial structures of her baby. Mothers are offered three-dimensional ultrasounds that can translate sound waves to a higher degree into 3-D images. There are even four-dimensional ultrasounds that offer 3-D images in motion. Learning a child’s sex or determining size has never been easier.

Having these ultrasounds performed can be extremely helpful for nervous, expectant mothers. Now doctors are better equipped to give medical advice, determine any pre-natal deficiencies, congenital disease as well as foresee difficult pregnancies and deliveries. Ultrasounds are relatively non-invasive and are often the first line of defense your doctor will recommend if there is any concern or question you have regarding your pregnancy. If you are a high-risk pregnancy, regular and detailed ultrasounds can be the best tool in keeping the health of baby and mother monitored. If you are hoping to become pregnant, ultrasounds are a great feature of medical imaging facilities to help determine any problem areas or conditions that may be preventing pregnancy. Knowing your body and being aware of the progression of your pregnancy can help to calm nerves and increase the excitement for the new addition to your family.

Looking for ultrasound procedures in the New Orleans or Metairie, Louisiana area? Click here to schedule your ultrasound procedure appointment today, or you can always make an appointment by calling 504-883-8111.

What Imaging Procedures Should Men Over 50 be Considering?

Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death for men over the age of 50 in the United States. Whether this is because of genetic defect, health condition or lifestyle is unclear, but what is perfectly clear is that these two conditions account for more than 45% of the deaths of men between the ages of 45 and 54 (and that number increases to 53% for ages 65+). It is an unfortunate fact that everyone gets old, but more so, visits to your physician can become critical and significant visits if the proper procedures are not performed. If you are nearing or over 50 years of age, even if you feel that you are in good health, discussing these procedures with your doctor can be a great preventative measure to keep you healthy and fit longer.

Your first line of defense in medical imaging procedures could begin with a chest X-ray. X-rays may seem like an archaic medical practice but they are effective in determining many conditions in the chest. A chest X-Ray is inexpensive and may unveil correctable conditions that improve your health. If you are a heavy smoker between the ages of 55 and 80 a low dose lung cancer  CT screen is now considered essential to save lives .

An ultrasound is also a prudent procedure that men over the age of 50 should consider having. Ultrasounds are useful for examining the internal organs and blood flow throughout them. Ultrasounds are used in examining areas like the thyroid and scrotum. In determining conditions like prostate growth or enlargement, ultrasounds may be the first procedure your doctor will order. Ultrasounds are usually painless and non-invasive.

Men over 50  may benefit from a having a CT CALCIUM SCORE TEST. Whether you have lived a healthy, active lifestyle or you spend most of your time eating cheeseburgers and soda, a chest CT scan can be a huge indicator of serious medical problems such as heart disease and cancer. CT scans can help determine problems such as heart tumors, coronary heart disease, and the vascular abnormalities that can lead to heart attack and stroke.

MRIs can provide additional detailed information regarding tumors and cardiovascular disease. MRI scans of the heart structures and blood flow to the surrounding organs can highlight areas containing blockages or diseased tissue. You may feel fine now, but inside, you could be a ticking time bomb and having these procedures done will help to show areas that require attention. A fear of medical procedures, because you’re worried bad news will come back, does not help the situation. Instead, think about how something unfortunate, when caught early enough, can be treated to keep you healthier and happier for years, if not decades longer.

If you’re a man over 50 who hasn’t had imaging procedures performed yet, take the time today to discuss preventive health with your doctor and make an appointment. It just might save your life!