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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 carotid (neck arteries) show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Fri, Jan 08, 2010
      
      
      
      
      
      

    ultrasound carotid pictureUltrasound tests use sound waves to create images of the internal organs. Carotid ultrasounds are usually ordered to evaluate the flow in the vessels of your neck that supply blood to your neck, face and brain.

    In the carotid picture to the right, the vessel is the tubular structure that is filled with color. The color is the ultrasound machine's intrepretation of the flow of blood. The gray wave at the bottom is the pulsation of the vessel.

    Your carotid arteries are located along the sides of your neck.  If you have atherosclerosis (aka plaque formation) of your vessels it will show up as areas of narrowing or irregularity. Plaque can result in stenosis (aka narrowing) of the vessel which can lead to decreased flow to the brain for example.

    Plaque can also completely block the flow of blood. Some patients with blocked vessels may have no to few symptoms because the blockage has occurred slowly over time and they have collateral vessels that bypass the blockage and supply blood to critical brain structures. However, other patients may exhibit symptoms such as small strokes, dizziness, vertigo, passing out etc. Plaque can also break off and travel up into the brain and cause a stroke.  

    Your doctor's order may read "r/o stenosis", "h/o TIA" or "stroke", for example.

    (FYI "r/o" stands for rule out, "h/o" stands for history of, and TIA is transient ischemic attack)

    Below are some common indications for carotid ultrasounds.

    • Examine vessels for narrowing due to symptoms related to stroke, narrowing or blockage
    • Examine the vessels due to comorbid medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol or family history of stroke
    • Evaluate the vessels because of a bruit (rushing, whistling noise) of the vessels heard during a physical exam
    • Preoperative evaluation for carotid or other vascular surgery such as heart surgery
    • Follow up carotid surgery and evaluate for any progression/worsening of narrowing
    • Look for injury to the vessel (dissection, hematoma, etc)

    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 down your collar or loosen your shirt.
    5. He or she will place a a warmed gel solution over the skin of your neck.
    6. The technologist will use an ultrasound probe and glide it over the neck and take pictures.
    7. You may be asked to turn your head for the technologist to get a better look at the vessels in the neck.
    8. The technologist may ask the Radiologist doctor to review the scan before you leave.
    9. An official report is generated by the Radiologist in about 24-48 hours.

    If you are insured carotid 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 a carotid ultrasound? What was it like? Please leave your comments below:

    1 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    What does an ultrasound of the thyroid show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Wed, Jan 06, 2010
      
      
      
      
      
      

    thyroid ultrasound pictureUltrasound tests use sound waves to create images of the internal organs. Thyroid ultrasounds are frequently ordered to evaluate new nodules or suddenly changing nodules, large thyroid glands or abnormal thyroid function tests.

    In the thyroid gland picture to the right, the thyroid gland is the gray speckled tissue on either side and above the black hole (which is your trachea filled with air). The two other black holes on the left and right underneath the thyroid tissue are vessels.

    Your thyroid gland is located just below your Adam's apple and is vital in producing hormones such as T4 and T3. People with overactive thyroid gland - called hyperthyroidism -  have symptoms related to racing heartbeats, sweating, tremors, thinning hair, losing weight, bulging eyes. Those with under active thyroid gland - called hypothyroidism -  experience weight gain, tiredness, feel cold, and may have dry skin, among other symptoms.

    Your doctor's order may also read "r/o nodule", "r/o tumor" or "enlarged thyroid", for example.

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

    Below are some common uses for thyroid ultrasounds.

    • Examine new thyroid nodules felt during a physical exam.
    • Evaluate for suddenly growing nodules of the thyroid 
    • Evaluate enlarged thyroid gland
    • Examine the thyroid if it is not functioning properly (either under or overactive)
    • Use ultrasound to help guide a biopsy of a thyroid nodule or mass

    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 down your collar or loosen your shirt.
    5. He or she will place a a warmed gel solution over the skin of your neck.
    6. The technologist will use an ultrasound probe and glide it over the neck and take pictures.
    7. You may be asked to turn your head for the technologist to get a better look at the edges of the thyroid and nearby tissues.
    8. The technologist may ask the Radiologist doctor to review the scan before you leave.
    9. An official report is generated by the Radiologist in about 24-48 hours.

    If you are insured thyroid ultrasounds are covered. However, for uninsured patients these tests can be quite expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $500 for this test.

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

    1 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    What does a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) ultrasound show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Wed, Nov 18, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    ultrasound vein clot dvtUltrasound tests use sound waves to create images of the internal organs. DVT (deep vein or venous thrombosis) ultrasounds are frequently ordered to evaluate the veins of the legs and arms to look for clots. These clots can cause swelling and/or pain of one or both legs or arms. The clots can migrate into the arteries that supply the lungs,  and cause life threatening pulmonary emboli which present as shortness of breath and chest pain.  Causes of DVT include:

    • The veins of the legs "pump blood" back to the heart by motion of the legs. Blood clots can form when you've been sitting immobile for many hours on a long airplane trip for example.
    • Foreign objects in the veins, like catheters or wires can act as clotting agents. This is typically seen in patients who have in-dwelling vein catheters for cancer treatment or fluid infusion.
    • There are some medications such as oral contraceptives which can increase the risk of clot formation.
    • Patients who are smokers or have cancer are also at increased risk for forming blood clots. Pregnancy and obesity are also other risk factors.
    • Some people are born with inherent clotting disorders that increase the risk of clot formation.

    Below is a brief outline of the procedure in the outpatient setting:

    1. Make sure you wear loose, comfortable clothing.
    2. After you sign in, you'll be taken to the ultrasound room and will probably be asked to change into a gown.
    3. An ultrasound technician will perform the test.
    4. The test is done while you lie down on a bed/gurney.
    5. The technologist will ask you to lift up your gown/clothing, exposing your skin.
    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 groin and take pictures of the veins to your knee or ankle for a lower leg test. If for the upper arm, the technologist will exam the veins along the side of your neck and down to your elbow area or wrist.
    8. The technologist will push down on the veins to look for clots. Veins that have clots are not compressible.
    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 DVT ultrasounds are covered. However, for uninsured patients these tests can be quite expensive. You can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $500 for this test.

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

    0 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

    Adding nearly 600 more Radiology centers to RemakeHealth

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Sat, Jun 27, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    We're adding nearly 600 additional Radiology centers throughout the U.S to our site over the next few weeks. It is a monumental task so please pardon our mess as we upgrade and clean up bugs!

    You'll be able to shop and buy your Radiology tests from over 1500 imaging facilities. Each Radiology facility is accredited by the ACR, features American Board of Radiology certified Radiologists and has undergone a rigorous selection process.

    Are there any other states or facilities you'd like us to add? Please leave your suggestions below:

    0 Comments Click here to read/write comments

    Adding 150 Radiology facilities from 12 more states to RemakeHealth

    Posted by John Holden on Mon, Jun 08, 2009
      
      
      
      
      
      

    We're adding 150 Radiology centers from Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Washington DC over the next several days to our site. Please pardon our mess as we upgrade and clean up bugs!

    You'll be able to shop and buy your Radiology tests from these facilities. As with our other Radiology facilities each is accredited by the ACR, features American Board of Radiology certified Radiologists and has undergone a rigorous selection process.

    Are there any other states or facilities you'd like us to add? Please leave your suggestions below:

    2 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:

    11 Comments Click here to read/write comments

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