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    The information contained on the RemakeHealth website and its blog is provided for your general information only. RemakeHealth does not give medical advice or engage in the practice of medicine. RemakeHealth under no circumstances recommends a particular treatment or test for specific individuals and in all cases recommends that you consult your physician before pursuing any course of treatment or test.

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    What does an ultrasound of the abdominal aorta show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Thu, Apr 01, 2010
      
      
      
      
      
      

    Ultrasound tests use sound waves to create images of the internal organs. Abdominal aortic ultrasounds are usually ordered to evaluate the size of the aorta to look for aneurysms (enlargement). The aorta is the main artery from your heart that carries blood throughout your body - sort of like a main highway with many branches coming off of it. It is roughly divided into two parts:

    Thoracic aorta - in your chest, can be evaluated with CT and MRI

    Abdominal aorta  - in your abdomen, can be evaluated with US, CT, or MRI

    In the abdominal aorta picture to the right, the aorta is the red tubular structure. The magnified picture shows a normal aorta and one with an aneurysm.

    Over time your aorta can enlarge in size and form what is called an  abdominal aortic aneurysm. The walls of the aneurysm are weak and can rupture causing life threatening bleeding into your abdomen. Symptoms include a pulsing mass in the middle of your  abdomen, a bruit (noisy flow) heard using a stethoscope, pain or rectal bleeding, sudden loss of consciousness or cardiac arrest. Once the aneurysm gets to a certain size the risk of rupture becomes significant and the aneurysm is repaired.

    Like any other arteries in the body, the abdominal aorta can develop atherosclerosis which can cause aortic stenosis. Stenosis simply means narrowing. Significant stenosis can slow the flow of blood in the aorta impairing circulation to your legs for example. Some patients with significant atherosclerosis of the abdominal aorta may need to have a bypass surgery to restore adequate blood flow to the legs.  

    Your doctor's order may read "r/o aneurysm" or "pulsatile mass", "h/o atherosclerosis"

    (FYI "r/o" stands for rule out, and "h/o" for history of)

    Below are some common indications for abdominal aorta ultrasounds.

    •  Screening for aneurysm for patients with medical conditions such diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure  which increase the risk of developing an abdominal aorta aneurysm
    • Evaluate for an aneurysm if a pulsatile mass is felt on a physical exam
    • Known abdominal aortic aneurysm and the scan is being done to check for any change in size of the aneurysm
    • Evaluate the aorta because of a bruit (rushing, whistling noise) of the abdominal aorta heard during a physical exam

    Below is a brief outline of the procedure.

    1. After you sign in to the Radiology office, you'll be taken to the ultrasound room.
    2. An ultrasound technician will perform the test.
    3. Once you enter the room, you will lie down on a bed/gurney.
    4. The technologist will ask you to pull up or remove your shirt.
    5. He or she will place a a warmed gel solution over the skin of your abdomen.
    6. The technologist will use an ultrasound probe and glide it over the abdomen and take pictures.
    7. The technologist may ask the Radiologist doctor to review the scan before you leave.
    8. An official report is generated by the Radiologist in about 24-48 hours.

    If you are insured abdominal aortic ultrasounds are covered. However, for uninsured patients these tests can be quite expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere between $300 and $700 for this test.

    Have you had an abdominal aorta ultrasound? What was it like? Please leave your comments below:

    7 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    What does an ultrasound of the breast show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Thu, Feb 04, 2010
      
      
      
      
      
      

    breast cyst ultrasoundUltrasound tests use sound waves to create images of the internal organs. Breast ultrasounds are frequently ordered to evaluate new breast masses, cysts, nodules or suspicious findings on a mammogram. They can also be used to follow up unusual mammographic findings that are not clearly cancerous over time or help in breast tissue biopsies.

    In the breast ultrasound picture to the right, the breast tissue is the gray speckled tissue around the black "hole". The "hole" is a cyst filled with fluid.

    Many breast ultrasound exams are ordered during or after a mammogram. On occasion, when a mammogram does not show a lump that you or your doctor felt, ultrasound is used to further examine the tissue.

    Your doctor's order may read "r/o nodule", "r/o tumor" or "follow up mammogram", for example.

    (FYI "r/o" stands for rule out)

    Remember if you are going for a breast ultrasound be sure to bring your mammogram films (most recent and previous) with reports if you had these done at a different facility.

    Below are some common uses for breast ultrasounds.

    • Examine new nodules felt during a physical exam
    • Evaluate for suddenly growing nodules of the breast
    • Evaluate suspicious findings on a mammogram such as a nodule, mass or scarring
    • Follow up nodules or cysts that are not clearly cancerous
    • Use ultrasound to help guide a biopsy of a breast mass or drain a cyst

    Below is a brief outline of the procedure.

    1. After you sign in to the Radiology office, you'll be taken to the ultrasound room.  Be sure to have your mammogram with you if it was done at a different facility.
    2. An ultrasound technician will perform the test.
    3. The technologist will ask you to remove your shirt, bra and change into a gown.
    4. Once the technologist returns, you will lie down on a bed/gurney.
    5. He or she will place a a warmed gel solution over the skin of your breast.
    6. The technologist will use an ultrasound probe and glide it over the breast and take pictures.
    7. The technologist may ask the Radiologist doctor to review the scan before you leave.
    8. An official report is generated by the Radiologist in about 24-48 hours.

    If you are insured breast ultrasounds are covered. However, for uninsured patients these tests can be quite expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere between $150 to $300 for this test.

    Have you had a breast ultrasound? What was it like? Please leave your comments below:

    1 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    What does an ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Wed, Oct 21, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    kidney bladder ultrasoundUltrasound tests use sound waves to create images of the internal organs. Kidney and bladder ultrasounds are frequently ordered to evaluate the organs of the genitourinary system which include the kidney, ureters, and bladder.

    Your doctor's order may read "r/o kidney stones", "hematuria" (blood in urine) or "renal disease", "flank pain" for example.

    (FYI "r/o" stands for rule out)

    Below are some common indications for an kidney and bladder ultrasounds.

    • Look for kidney infection (pyelonephritis) or injury.
    • Look for kidney tumors such as renal cell cancer, angiomyolipoma.
    • Evaluate the  kidney for disease and failure.
    • Evaluate the kidney for stones that can cause flank (side) pain or blood in the urine.
    • Look for ureteral blockages from stones, tumors or scarring.
    • Look for an bladder stones, tumors, or infection that can cause pain and blood in the urine.

    Kidney ultrasounds are also used to help kidney specialists (nephrologists) guide biopsy needles when tissue is needed for a definitive diagnosis in renal failure. They are also used to look for bladder urine retention.

    Below is a brief outline of the procedure.

    1. You will be asked to drink water to fill up your bladder.
    2. After you sign in, you'll be taken to the ultrasound room.
    3. An ultrasound technician will perform the test.
    4. Once you enter the room, you will lie down on a bed/gurney.
    5. The technologist will ask you to lift up your clothing, exposing your stomach and mid back area.
    6. He or she will place a a warmed gel solution over the skin.
    7. The technologist will use an ultrasound probe and glide it over your flanks and upper pelvis while taking pictures.
    8. You may be asked to sit up for a part of the test to get better pictures of the kidneys.
    9. You may also be asked to void your bladder and then return back to the ultrasound room for "post-void" images.
    10. The technologist may ask the Radiologist doctor to review the scan before you leave.
    11. An official report is generated by the Radiologist in about 24-48 hours.

    If you are insured kidney and bladder ultrasounds are covered. However, for uninsured patients these tests can be quite expensive. These tests can cost anywhere between $200 and $500.

    Have you had a Kidney and Bladder ultrasound? What was it like? Please leave your comments below

    16 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    What does an abdominal (liver, gallbladder) ultrasound show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Mon, Sep 14, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    liver ultrasound preparationUltrasound tests use sound waves to create images of the internal organs. Abdominal ultrasounds are frequently ordered to evaluate the organs of the abdomen which include the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, spleen, and vessels such as the aorta and IVC Below are some common indications for an abdominal ultrasound.

    • Look for liver cirrhosis, infection and tumors.
    • Evaluate the gallbladder for stones, inflammation (cholecystitis) for polyps or tumors of the gallbladder that may cause abdominal pain.
    • Evaluate parts of the pancreas that are seen by ultrasound for large tumors and inflammation.
    • Look for kidney stones, blockages (hydronephrosis), tumors, cysts which can cause abdominal pain.
    • Look for an enlarged spleen, tumors or cysts of the spleen.
    • Rule out abdominal aortic aneurysms (ballooning of the aorta).
    • Check for fluid in the abdomen which can be seen in cirrhosis, infection or injury.

    Abdominal ultrasounds are also used to look for pyloric stenosis in young infants (causes projectile vomiting). It is used as a guide to biopsy tumors of the liver, kidneys and other nearby tissues.

    Below is a brief outline of the procedure.

    1. You will be asked to fast for at least 6 hours (so the gallbladder is full - it empties if you eat before the test and makes it very hard to evaluate).
    2. After you sign in, you'll be taken to the ultrasound room.
    3. An ultrasound technician will perform the test.
    4. Once you enter the room, you will lie down on a bed/gurney.
    5. The technologist will ask you to lift up your clothing, exposing your stomach.
    6. He or she will place a a warmed gel solution over the skin.
    7. The technologist will use an ultrasound probe and glide it over your abdomen while taking pictures.
    8. You may be asked to sit up for a part of the test to get better images of the gallbladder or kidneys.
    9. The technologist may ask the Radiologist doctor to review the scan before you leave.
    10. An official report is generated by the doctor in about 24-48 hours.

    If you are insured abdominal ultrasounds are covered. However, for uninsured patients these tests can be quite expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere between $250 and $800 for this test.

    Have you had an Abdominal ultrasound? What was it like? Please leave your comments below

    8 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    What does a pelvic ultrasound show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Tue, Jul 28, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    ultrasound pelvis pictureUltrasound tests use sound waves to create images of the internal organs. Pelvic ultrasounds are frequently ordered to evaluate the organs of the pelvis which include the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and bladder. Below are some common indications for a pelvic ultrasound.

    • Confirm pregnancy, evaluate the fetus.
    • Look for fibroids, polyps or other tumors of the uterus that may cause pelvic pain, or vaginal bleeding.
    • Evaluate the endometrium of the uterus (the inner lining) in post-menopausal vaginal bleeding for polyps or cancer.
    • Look for ovarian cysts and tumors which can also cause pelvic pain.
    • Rule out ovarian torsion (twisting of the ovary) or ectopic preganancies. These are generally done in an acute setting such as the ER.
    • Evalute for pelvic infection such as tubo-ovarian abscess.

    Pelvic ultrasounds can be done in two stages. The first is called "transabdominal" - the probe is used over the skin of the abdomen. The second is "transvaginal" (aka endovaginal). This requires inserting a probe into the vagina. This gives the technologist performing the exam and doctor interpreting it greater internal detail. Below is a brief outline of the procedure.

    1. You may be asked to drink several small cups of water to fill your bladder for the first part of the test.
    2. After you sign in, you'll be taken to the ultrasound room.
    3. An ultrasound technician will perform the test.
    4. Once you enter the room, you will lie down on a bed/gurney.
    5. The technologist will ask you to lift up your clothing, exposing your stomach and upper pelvis area.
    6. He or she will place a a warmed gel solution over the skin.
    7. The technologist will use an ultrasound probe and glide it over your abdomen while taking pictures.
    8. If the transvaginal portion of the test is to be done, you'll be asked to void your bladder. The transvaginal test is much like a gynecological exam.
    9. You'll return to the ultrasound room and the technologist will ask you to place your feet into stirrups at the end of the table.
    10. A drape or towel will be placed across your knees.
    11. The technologist will insert a sterilized tube-like probe, covered with a condom and gel.
    12. The probe will be moved side to side, up and down to look at the uterus, ovaries, etc. The technologist will take pictures during this portion of the test as well.
    13. The technologist may ask the Radiologist doctor to review the scan before you leave.
    14. An official report is generated by the doctor in about 24-48 hours.

    If you are insured pelvic ultrasounds are covered. However, for uninsured women these tests can be quite expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $700 for this test.

    Have you had a Pelvic ultrasound? What was it like? Please leave your comments below. 

     

    2 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    What does a baby fetal ultrasound show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Tue, Jul 21, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    Ultrasound tests are used to detect and monitor disease. They use sound waves to create images of the internal organs of the body. They are used frequently to evaluate pelvic organs such as the uterus, ovaries, bladder.  Of course, ultrasound is used quite extensively to monitor pregnancy:

    • Confirm that the pregnancy is in the uterus (and not an ectopic in the tubes for example).
    • Determine that early pregnancies are viable and the fetus is growing appropriately, particularly if the mother is bleeding.
    • Perform screening during the pregnancy to ensure the fetus is growing normally, moving, has a good heartbeat, detect congenital abnormalities, etc.
    • In late pregnancy, ultrasounds are also performed to confirm the position of the baby (head or feet down), for example.

    Ultrasounds can be performed in different settings such as the hospital, Ob/Gyn office, and outpatient Radiology center. The procedure can take up to 1 hour (depending on the stage of the pregnancy). Below is a short outline of the procedure:

    1. After you sign in, you'll be taken to the ultrasound room.
    2. The ultrasound technician will perform the test.
    3. Once you enter the room, you will lie down on a bed/gurney.
    4. The technologist will ask you to lift up your clothing, exposing your stomach and upper pelvis area.
    5. He or she will place a a warmed gel solution over the skin.
    6. The technologist will use an ultrasound probe and glide it over your abdomen while taking pictures. Some pictures will be captured as mini-movies (see the example video of a 20 week fetal ultrasound below).
    7. Some facilities will give you a 1 or 2 page black and white small "polaroid" type of picture to take home.
    8. The technologist may ask the Radiologist doctor to review the scan before you leave.
    9. An official report is generated by the doctor in about 24-48 hours.

    If you are insured ultrasounds during pregnancy are routinely covered. However, many uninsured expectant mothers forgo paying for the tests as they can be quite expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere between $250 to $750 for this test.

    Below is a sample video of a 20 week fetal ultrasound. The study is labeled to help orient you to the baby.

    3 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    RemakeHealth achieves HON certification

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Mon, Jun 29, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    When we first launched our site we knew that gaining the trust and confidence of health care consumers would be an important on-going task. Having relevant, meaningful blog posts and keeping the site safe and secure have always been a top priority. One of the key leading certifications for health care websites is offered by the Health on the Net Foundation, based in Geneva Switzerland:

    The Health On the Net Foundation (HON) promotes and guides the deployment of useful and reliable online health information, and its appropriate and efficient use. Created in 1995, HON is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, accredited to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. For twelve years, HON has focused on the essential question of the provision of health information to citizens, information that respects ethical standards. To cope with the unprecedented volume of health care information available on the Net, the HONcode of conduct offers a multi-stakeholder consensus on standards to protect citizens from misleading health information.

    We recently received HON certification after satisfying all of the requirements of the HON code of ethics and principles. We're excited to announce our achievement and will display the HON code throughout our site. Of course, we won't stop here. We'll continue to look hard at our site and look for ways to grow your trust and confidence in us and make shopping for Radiology tests such as MRI scans, CT scans, Ultrasounds, X-rays easy and safe.

    This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
    verify here.


    0 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    How much does an Ultrasound cost?

    Posted by John Holden on Wed, Mar 25, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    ultrasound scan RemakeHealthTrying to get costs of Ultrasound scans can be challenging. Even when you have the information, it's not clear what exactly you might be paying for. What body parts are included? Does the price include the Radiology report? And what if you need additional testing? This post will be a work in progress, but I hope it sheds some light on what Ultrasound scan costs include and don't include...

    Prices vary by body part and medical condition

    Most Ultrasound scan exams each have different prices. For example, an Ultrasound of the Abdomen may not cost the same as an Ultrasound of the Thyroid. Your test might also be two different tests bundled into one order. An Ultrasound scan to evaluate the uterus and ovaries is frequently two billable scans - a transabdominal ultrasound and a transvaginal ultrasound.

    Prices will vary from facility to facility

    Ultrasound costs will vary in price even in the same town. Hospitals are generally more expensive and have less favorable cash fee schedules than their outpatient counterparts. Hospitals are also less likely to negotiate prices with you.

    Materials used during the ultrasound scan are included

    Gel is used to lubricate the probe that is placed over the body part being scanned. The probe is covered by a disposable plastic sheath. Occasionally special "stand off" pads are used to examine superficial skin structures. There are no separate charges for these items.

    The Radiology report is included

    Ultrasound scan costs include the official Radiologist interpretation. This includes comparing to older scans even if done at another hospital or imaging center. Your doctor receives a copy of the report.

    Copies of the CD or films

    Sometimes you'll be asked to take a CD or films of your Ultrasound scan to your doctor to review. Most facilities will give you a copy, if requested, free of charge.

    Call back for additional images may not be included

    You won't be charged for call backs if due to technical issues or if you were unable to complete the exam because of pain. However, if it is for "more testing", then yes, there will be additional costs.

    The bottom line...

    Ultrasound prices can vary widely depending on the exact test, number of views, your location and whether you choose to go to an outpatient facility or a hospital. Our research shows an average cost of about $150 for an ultrasound study with prices ranging from $100 to over $350.

    How much did your ultrasound test cost? Please leave your comments below:

    13 Comments Click here to read/write comments

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