Take a look inside: Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging - MRIMagnetic Resonance Imaging ? MRI ? is one of the most important developments in the field of medicine in the past 30 years. MRIs have become a virtual workhorse, allowing physicians to locate tumors and cysts, evaluate joint damage, pinpoint the cause of back pain, and diagnose a wide variety of conditions.

MRI technology has saved patients millions of dollars in healthcare expense; shortened time to diagnosis (and thus, treatment); allowed patients to avoid exposure to radiation; and improved the quality and length of lives of people across the U.S.

How does MRI differ from other types of medical imaging?
First, MRI studies are performed using magnetic fields. This is unique in the diagnostic imaging world, where most studies (with the exception of ultrasound) use ionizing radiation to create images of the body. There is no radiation exposure during an MRI. Instead, the equipment uses a very strong magnetic field to align the spin of hydrogen protons in the cells of the body and radio waves to cause the protons to wobble. As they wobble, the emit radio waves, which are detected by sensors in the machine.

Tissues that contain more water, such as muscles or the brain, emit stronger radio signals. Tissues that contain less water, such as bones, emit weaker signals. As it turns out, this is a perfect alignment of capabilities: X-rays are great at imaging dense tissues, such as bone, and poor at imaging soft tissues, such as muscles and brain.

You?ll sometimes hear MRI machines referred to as ?3T? or ?1.5T.? These terms refer to the strength of the magnet in relationship to the magnetic field of the earth. The larger the number, the stronger the magnetic field. (The T, by the way, honors Nikola Tesla, an electrical engineer and rival of Thomas Edison. He?s best known for his advocacy of and contributions to the development of the modern alternating current (AC) electrical system).

At Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI, we have three MRI units:
? Our 0.6T open MRI is great for people with varying body types and those who have claustrophobia. The unit provides quality images and is open on three sides, making it possible for people who might not otherwise be able to undergo MRI to have this important test.

? Our 1.5T high field MRI is open on both ends, provides faster scans, and high-quality images.

? The 3T unit also is open on both ends and provides excellent quality, high-
resolution images. It is excellent for orthopedic, neuro and prostate imaging.

One of the great benefits for patients with MRI technology is that family members are usually able to accompany them in the scan room without risk of radiation exposure. Patients are able to listen to their own music (or ours) and are often in and out in less than an hour, with no restrictions on the rest of their day.

Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI has been serving the needs of patients in this area for more than 30 years, providing high-quality imaging studies; compassionate, patient-centered care; great value; and easy access to needed services.

?One of the most important things people need to realize about diagnostic imaging is that they can choose where they will have their testing done? said Davonna Saier, marketing director for Lexington Diagnostic Center. ?Often people think they have to go to the hospital where their doctor is for testing, but that?s not the case.?

Because medical imaging is all lexington Diagnostic Center does, the Center is able to save its patients hundreds of dollars off the price of the same exam performed at a hospital ? These days, when patients are responsible for more and more of their healthcare costs, it really pays to shop around,? Saier said.

In addition, the cost of reading and interpreting the MRI exam (the radiologist fee) is included. Lexington Diagnostic Center patients save significantly, while receiving top-notch care and quality.

Elevated PSA? Know Your Options

Prostate Cancer ExamProstate cancer is a very common condition affecting men, primarily those over the age of 65. The American Cancer Society estimates 161,000 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed in 2017. Fortunately, prostate cancer is usually slow growing and does not present a major health hazard to most men.

Prostate cancer is often found through routine screening or when a man presents in his physician?s office with complaints of weak urine stream, difficulty initiating urination, pelvic pain, erectile dysfunction, the inability to empty the bladder completely, or an urge to urinate frequently.

A digital rectal exam (DRE), is the most commonly performed screening exam. During the DRE, the physician uses a gloved, lubricated finger to feel the prostate, searching for lumps and other abnormalities. A simple blood test, called a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, can detect elevated levels that may suggest cancer. Men with a PSA between four and 10 have a 25 percent chance of having cancer; a PSA level above 10 increases the risk to 50 percent.

The next step in diagnosing prostate cancer is typically a biopsy. During this procedure, a hollow core needle is inserted into the prostate through the rectum to retrieve tissue samples. Typically, 12 to 15 random samples are taken. Patients often receive numbing medication, but it?s important to ask.

Although the biopsy is straightforward and often performed in the office setting, it carries with it the risk of serious infection, bleeding and even very rarely death. Men experience soreness for several days following the biopsy and may also have bleeding from the rectum, and blood in the urine and semen. Antibiotics may be prescribed for one to two days following the test.

Biopsy results typically take several days to be available and there is always a risk of false-negative results, as detecting cancer is dependent upon a needle passing through the suspicious cells. As a result, the patient may receive an ?all-clear? when in fact cancer is present. If your physician feels strongly there may be cancer, a second biopsy may be ordered.

An alternative to biopsy
If biopsy sounds painful, risky, inconvenient and uncertain, there is an alternative: prostate MRI. Prostate MRI produces detailed images of the prostate, using strong magnets, radio waves and a contrast material called gadolinium. ?Looking at these images, the radiologist can help diagnose prostate cancer and see whether the cancer has spread outside of the prostate,? said Jason Harris, M.D., medical director at Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI.

?Not only is prostate MRI much more comfortable for the man, it provides better anatomic and physiologic information, more quickly,? he noted. A prostate MRI can determine a tumor?s size, location and likelihood of malignancy. If an area is identified that looks suspicious, a more targeted biopsy can be performed and a rational treatment plan designed.

There are no risks with prostate MRI, although patients will undergo a safety screening to ensure there are no metal implants or devices in the body that are incompatible with the procedure. Testing takes about an hour, and men can resume their normal daily activities quickly. Patients who experience claustrophobia may receive an IV sedative to ensure their comfort.

Lexington Diagnostic Center provides prostate MRI services using its 3 Tesla Multi-parametric MRI. Men leave the center with a disc of their images and peace of mind.

CTs, MRIs Without the Expense, with All the Comforts of Family

Lexington Diagnostic Dr. Jason HarrisWhen something mysterious or unknown is happening with your health, it?s entirely natural to be worried. You want to know, as soon as possible, what?s going on, if it can be fixed, how long it will take to get better, and how much it will cost.

Often, diagnostic testing will be ordered: A CT scan, an MRI, or an ultrasound to diagnose and, on occasion, follow-up exams to evaluate treatment. Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI specializes in diagnostic imaging ? and anxiety reduction. That?s because imaging exams at LDC are considerably less expensive than the hospital. And, LDC patients always know ? up front ? what testing is going to cost. There are no hidden fees or surprise bills that arrive weeks or months later.

Price transparency is one part of Lexington Diagnostic Center?s tradition of treating patients like family.

?We are such a family here at Lexington Diagnostic Center,? said radiologist Jason Harris, M.D., who joined the center in 2012. ?We have the best trained team, a strong commitment to quality, and a tremendous focus on doing the right thing for our patients,? he said.

His commitment to the LDC family is so strong, in fact, that he recently purchased the facility ? the only locally owned imaging facility in Lexington ?? from retiring founder George Privett, M.D.

Being a part of Lexington Diagnostic Center allows Dr. Harris to do what he loves most: Make a difference in peoples? lives. ?Every morning, when I come to work, before I start, I spend a few minutes thinking about what I am doing. With each study I read, I remind myself this study represents a person, somebody with a life and a family.

?I try to think of each one as a member of my family, as someone I know. Thinking this way motivates me to give it my absolute best each time,? he said.

The desire to give his best to his patients led Dr. Harris to study radiology at two of the best radiology programs in the United States. His radiology residency was completed at the University of Cincinnati, a world-renown center for neuroradiology. Following five years of residency at UC, Dr. Harris did a fellowship in musculoskeletal radiology at the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va.

?Doing the fellowship required a lot of sacrifice,? Dr. Harris said, ?but I absolutely feel it was worth it. Having that additional training and experience has enhanced my practice immensely. It allows me to offer more and higher quality care to patients here at the Center.? The fellowship focused on diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the bones, joints, connective tissues, muscles and spine, including image-guided biopsies and joint injections.

Because of this additional training, Dr. Harris sometimes finds himself performing joint injections and other treatments. This direct interaction is something he enjoys. ?Every doctor in practice today woke up one morning and said to themselves, ?I want to be a doctor, I want to help people,?? he noted. That is, ultimately, what medicine is all about.

As Lexington Diagnostic Center?s new owner, Dr. Harris is committed to carrying on the center?s tradition of helping people by providing the highest level of quality and service, saving them money on their exams.

It?s an important point. Medical costs continue to rise and hospital-based services have grown even more expensive. As a result, free-standing, independent facilities like Lexington Diagnostic Center have a larger role to play in providing patients with affordable, high-quality services. LDC can save patients money because all they do is imaging. There is no hospital overhead ? laundry, meal services, ER team, administration.

Those additional expenses force hospitals to charge up to six times as much for the same exam. Because patients are often responsible for 20 to 50 percent of allowed charges, this often results in more cost for the patient.

?We don?t do everything a hospital does. We do imaging. And we do it well. And we save patients money,? Dr. Harris said.

Taking The Stress Out Of Diagnostic Tests

Taking The Stress Out Of Diagnostic TestsDoes the cost of healthcare stress you out?

You?re not alone. A 2014 study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that at least 72 percent of Americans were stressed over financial concerns at least some of the time. Twenty-two percent said they experienced extreme stress about finances. Further, 9 percent said they have considered skipping needed healthcare services and 12 percent had forgone care because of costs.

A 2016 Reuters survey found that 62 percent of Americans ? regardless of party affiliation ? were concerned about healthcare affordability. And a Kaiser Family Foundation study found that half of those without health insurance, and 20 percent with it, have problems dealing with medical debt.

Even those with great employer-sponsored health insurance have felt the pinch, as employers have increased deductibles and cost-sharing to reduce their costs.

For years, we?ve heard Americans need to be better healthcare consumers, taking a more active role in maintaining good health, talking to their physicians and healthcare providers about financial concerns, and being more involved in decision making.

Medical imaging procedures, such as CT scans and MRIs, often allow patients to avoid expensive, painful invasive procedures, such as exploratory surgery. Ultimately, medical imaging saves the patient time, money and discomfort ? but at a cost.

Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI has been helping patients and families reduce the financial stress of healthcare for decades. ?Patients often don?t realize that there is a huge difference in cost between our facility and hospital-based imaging centers,? said Davonna Saier, marketing director at Lexington Diagnostic Center. ?Often, they never question the cost of that hospital study until they receive a bill, and then it?s too late.?

The cost of testing at Lexington Diagnostic Center is substantially lower because LDC specializes in one thing ? medical imaging. ?Our patients aren?t paying huge hospital overhead,? she noted. Costs at Lexington Diagnostic Center are often less than half what one would be charged at a hospital. This saves money for the insurance company, potentially leading to lower premium costs, and for the patient, who often is responsible for co-pays and deductibles.

Further, LDC charges include the radiologist?s fee to read the exam, which is typically extra at hospital imaging centers.

LDC patients know up front what their costs are going to be. Billing specialists work with them and their insurance companies before testing is performed so patients know their cost upfront.

Further, LDC charges include the radiologist?s fee to read the exam, which is typically extra at hospital imaging centers.

LDC patients know up front what their costs are going to be. Billing specialists work with them and their insurance companies before testing is performed so patients know their cost upfront.

No Better Time To Say “Thanks” Than Now

We at Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI are continuously thankful for the patients who choose to use us for their care; for?the physicians and other healthcare providers who have placed their trust and confidence in us to care for their patients; and for every member of our team, who work diligently to ensure that our patients are well cared for, our testing is of the highest quality and our reputation is sterling.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we wanted to share with you a few of the comments we have received from our patients about their experiences at LDC. We know the best way for people to get to know and trust us is through the experiences of their friends and families.

Raves about our Team
?My technician Karen was so very nice and informative. Very professional and compassionate. I want her to do every procedure I ever have to have in the future!?

?Each and every member of you staff were exceptional. Giving and getting information, caring and concern directed to each patient. A very calming influence which in my case was very appreciated.?

?I have had a number of CT scans at (other facilities). The nursing staff at LDC was the friendliest and most informative I have yet encountered. The Technician who first explained the test and then administered it was by far the most qualified in his knowledge of the procedure and its explanation to me that I have had.? He was expert in the injection ? no bruise, no hesitation, no pain ? a real delight.? All excellent.?

?For my very first time visiting the staff made me feel like I had been there multiple of times. That gave me a such a great feeling and Ms. Debra was so awesome and you definitely made me feel welcomed. Thank You Lexington Diagnostic Center you all are absolutely awesome.?

?Lee Kirkland did a great job explaining everything to me. He made me feel relaxed the whole time. I could tell he genuinely cared.?

?The tech, I think his name was Lee, was also very courteous and explained everything in detail and answered any questions I had.?

Comparing Prices
?Previous people I work with have compared prices to local hospitals and found that Lexington Diagnostics has better pricing and much faster results.? When we send our patients there, their results sometimes beat them back to the office!?

?You offer the same services other facilities offer at a much more reasonable price. Short wait times and a knowledgeable staff. I could have saved myself hundreds of dollars if I had gotten my X-rays here. Hospital charged almost $1,500. For 3 simple X-rays of hands and feet. Taught me a valuable lesson about shopping for the best value for my money.?

Efficiency and Convenience
?I can always count on fast, friendly and knowledgeable service when I am calling LDC in a professional role as well as a personal role.?

?Your office seems like a well-oiled machine.? I like that I left with my disk even though you sent results to 2 different doctors.? Some places I?ve been too seem put out if you ask for a copy of your records.?

?I was extremely appreciative that I was able to come from my physician to get an X-ray without an appointment as I live out of town.? I did not feel very well that day, and I was grateful that I did not have to travel back to Lexington at another time.?

?The most professional medical facility I?ve ever been to. Everyone was so polite and friendly.?

?I was scheduled for 7:30 and there was a wreck and I was actually 30 minutes late for my appointment time. The Staff worked me in anyway, which was awesome because I drove an hour to get there.?

You, too, can discover the convenience and value of having your medical imaging done at Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI. We perform a wide array medical imaging exams, including:
? CT scans
? Ultrasound
? General x-ray
? Virtual colonoscopy
? Nuclear medicine studies
? Dexa and bone density studies
? Low-Dose CT scanning for lung cancer
? Prostate MRI

So Your Child Needs An MRI. Now What?

When a doctor recommends an MRI or CT scan for your child, your mind races with a million questions: Is it safe? What?s wrong?

Will it help diagnose the problem? Do they know how to take care of a child having an MRI? Will it hurt? Will she be scared? What can I do to make him feel more comfortable? What if she can?t hold still for the test? What if he freaks out? What if I freak out?

It?s normal to be concerned, but the first thing you need to do is to relax yourself! Remember, kids are like little sponges; they soak up the tension, concern and worry exuded by parents and caregivers and squeeze it out as the time for the test or procedure grows near.

Across the U.S., people of all ages undergo MRIs and other medical imaging procedures every day. Sure there are precautions that must be taken, but the healthcare professionals who will perform the tests are just that ? professionals. They have received extensive and ongoing training in caring for both children and adults, and they and put that training into practice every day!

If there?s time, and there usually is, it?s best to talk to your child about the exam and what it will entail, said Karen Sykes, a nurse at Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI. Sykes works directly with children undergoing diagnostic imaging, and their parents, to ensure they have the most comfortable experience possible.

There are a variety of ways to talk to your child about an MRI or CT, Sykes said. For younger kids, parents may compare the experience to getting a photograph taken. It?s something they are all familiar with (think smart phone cameras and selfies) and so it?s no big deal.

Kids who are especially inquisitive may want to know about the kind of ?camera? being used and how it can take pictures of things inside your body. Showing them MRI and CT images online can help them understand and most kids are excited to learn that they will leave Lexington Diagnostic Center with a disk of their images they can view at home!

Older children may want to know about the science of an MRI or a CT. For them, you may want to do a little research so you can answer basic questions. ?I recommend parents do some online research,? Sykes said. ?There are videos available that show pediatric MRIs and teaches kids what will happen during the test.? Familiarity will be reassuring to children. YouTube has both live action and animated videos.

Some parents employ a little ?bribery? to ensure cooperation: a special treat after successful completion of the exam. For a little one, that might mean an ice cream cone. For an older child, perhaps it?s a Mommie-and-Me day at the beauty salon or a new video game. Make it something you?ll both look forward to and remember

Reassure your child that the people who will be taking care of them will do their very best for them. At Lexington Diagnostic Center, a parent or loved one may sit or stand beside the MRI machine so the child never feels alone in the exam room.

During the actual exam, the technologist may ask the child to play a little game that will help them to hold very still. The child may be asked to pretend they are in a rocket ship taking off for the moon; or are a statue in the park; or even frozen. The games are designed to help the child hold still during the active scan period.

Depending on the test, you may be able to accompany the child into the scan room during the procedure. Kids can choose their own music during the scan and younger ones may be able to take a favorite blanket into the scanner with them. All kids having a scan at Lexington Diagnostic Center receive a stuffed animal to take home after the test.

A lot of parents ask about open MRI for their kids, Sykes said, but this equipment may not be the best choice ? it requires children to hold still for much longer periods of time, Sykes noted. ?Parents ask about open MRI because they may be a little claustrophobic themselves,? she said, ?But it?s important to remember there?s a lot more room in an MRI machine when you?re a 50-pound child than when you are 200-pound adult male. Claustrophobia may not even be a problem.?

?The vast majority of the time, we can get a scan done for a child when no one else has been able to,? Sykes said, ?because we work very hard to help the child and parent feel comfortable and at ease. Our facility isn?t as scary as a hospital and we certainly take the time to work with them one-to-one,? she noted. ?We treat every patient with warmth and compassion and we are especially skilled at working with patients and children with special needs, including infants, children, the elderly and those with developmental disabilities.?

If your child is scheduled to have an MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, nuclear medicine or even a general X-ray, give Lexington Diagnostic Center a call at (859) 278-7226 Or call toll free 800-755-7441 to learn more about our child ? and family-friendly services. You?ll be glad you did.

Meet Nurse Karen Sykes
Karen Sykes, a licensed practical nurse, is originally from Elkhorn City deep in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky.

She returned to the mountains after attending school at Eastern Kentucky University. It was at this time that she found her life?s work: nursing. Sykes graduated from the nursing program at Mayo Tech in 1982. During her career, she has worked in all areas of nursing, including pediatrics, cardiac, geriatrics, critical care, neurology, IV therapy and emergency services.

Sykes came to Lexington Diagnostic Center in 1999 to ?help out for a couple of days? while the practice searched for a full-time nurse. After a short time, Sykes came to realize Lexington Diagnostic was where she needed to be.

Seventeen years later, Sykes provides all of the nursing care at the Center and serves on the practice?s management team. She, and her staff, will take on any challenge, but patient care is her specialty. Her patients often comment on how kind and caring she is, how they felt like they were the only patient Sykes had that day. Her compassion and experience make it possible for her to care for a diverse patient population, including infants, those with special needs, the very ill and elderly.

A mother of two (and grandmother, too), Sykes knows what it?s like to have a sick child and works hard to put parents? minds at ease and to answer all questions in a way that is complete, concise and understandable.

The FYI On Your MRI

Open MRI SystemChances are, you or someone you know has needed an MRI scan at some point. We?ve at least all heard of an MRI and might imagine?ourselves getting in to that big white tube! But what exactly are we getting ourselves in to? With the help of Paula Bracken, chief radiologic technologist at Lexington Diagnostic Center & Open MRI, let?s explore what you should know, consider, and expect when you need an MRI.

What is an MRI?
As Paula explains, ?MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a non-invasive scan that uses a large magnet, pulses of radiofrequency waves, and a computer to create detailed, 2D and 3-D images of organs and structures within your body?. Physicians often use MRI imaging to diagnose conditions that may not be adequately assessed using other imaging methods such as X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan.

An MRI is often used to:
? Examine the joints, brain, spine, nerves, abdominal organs, breasts, reproductive organs and other soft tissues
? Assess blood vessels for clots and areas of narrowing
? Detect tumors and diagnose many forms of cancer
? Evaluate infections
? Assess injuries to bones, joints and muscles
? Achieve more detailed images than other imaging modalities

MRIs are often preferred over X-rays and CT scans because they don?t emit potentially harmful radiation. Here?s how it works:
1. The MRI scanner is a very strong magnet that is always turned on.
2. Since the body is made up of mostly water, hydrogen protons in the water are utilized to create an image.
3. An antenna is placed around the area of your body to be scanned.
4. You are moved into the magnetic field of the machine and the hydrogen protons go from spinning randomly to aligning with the magnetic field.
5. Radiofrequency pulses are introduced to move the protons into different positions and the antenna ?listens? to the echoes from the protons as they relax.
6. The information is sent to a computer that creates the image.

Where to have your MRI
Many patients ?go with the flow? and have their scan performed at the hospital, not realizing they have options for comfort, convenience, and cost-savings. Paula says she?s proud to provide superior care and quality at LDC. ?We offer an MRI for every need, and we take care of our patients at a fair price that they?ll find is much less expensive than at other facilities,? says Paula.

An MRI for every need
If even just the thought of that big white tube makes you cringe with claustrophobia, rest assured there?s an option for you. You can even have a loved one stay close by for support. That option is also great for little patients who want a parent close by. Lexington Diagnostic Center utilizes modern equipment and procedures to produce the best images possible while ensuring the patient?s comfort. There are three different MRI machine options to accommodate various patient needs and preferences.

In some cases, sedation may be required or requested for the patient. There is no charge for sedation at LDC. You will need to arrange for a driver to take you home.

What to expect and how to prepare:
Talk to your doctor?s referring coordinator or scheduler when your scan is ordered and they can set up your appointment with Lexington Diagnostic Center. LDC will receive your doctor?s orders and will call you to confirm your appointment. Be sure to let LDC know ahead of time if you?ve had a scan of the same area previously at another location so that images can be compared. Paula shares that LDC takes pride in making sure the entire process is easy and convenient for the patient. She says, ?We make sure patients have their appointment in a timely manner, without hassle, and are made as comfortable as possible while receiving superior image quality.?

MRI procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. Eat, drink and take your medications as usual unless instructed otherwise. If you are scheduled for an abdominal MRI, you might be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for two hours prior to your appointment.

For the scan, you?ll be asked to change into a hospital gown and remove any metal items including:
? Jewelry
? Hairpins
? Eyeglasses
? Watches
? Wigs
? Dentures
? Hearing aids

The MRI machine is a large, tube-shaped machine that the patient enters while lying comfortably on an exam table. The machine can get loud, so earplugs and headphones are available. The radiology technologist will be close by, keeping you informed and making sure you?re comfortable. You can stop the exam any time to ask questions or express concerns.

Most MRI scans take about 30 minutes to perform for each study. Afterward, the pictures will be reviewed by the radiologist and a report will be sent to your doctor.

Why choose Lexington Diagnostic Center for your MRI?
They are committed to providing the most convenient high-quality MRI imaging services for patients and their physicians. LDC offers:

? Ease of scheduling with typically same-week appointments
? Board Certified Musculoskeletal Fellowship Trained Radiologists to interpret your results
? Highly trained technologists to ensure your comfort and safety
? CD of images for each patient to have and share with their healthcare provider
? An integrated electronic medical records system that provides your referring physician easy access to your images
? Evening and Saturday appointment times
? Front door parking

From Bats to CATs: What You Don?t Know About Imaging!

Nuclear Medicine ScanWe often don?t give much thought to the forces around us ? gravity, electromagnetic fields, sound waves, light, radio waves, radiation.?But the discovery and study of these natural forces, and our own creativity, led to the development of one of the most important fields of medicine today:

Diagnostic Imaging
Most of us know someone, or may be someone, who has had at least one diagnostic imaging study: an MRI, CT Scan, X-ray, Ultrasound, or Nuclear Medicine study. At Lexington Diagnostic Center & Open MRI, we know how important our imaging services are to our patients and their doctors. But how did we arrive at today?s use of modern medical technology? You might be surprised!

Discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen of W?rzburg, Germany, we started to use x-rays in the U.S. within just a few months. By the outbreak of World War I in 1914, most hospitals were equipped with x-ray machines. The ability to locate bullet fragments in soldiers became a crucial tool for saving their lives.

The general x-ray is the workhorse of diagnostic imaging and are frequently used to diagnose broken bones and other musculoskeletal conditions. Although x-rays pass through the soft tissues of the body rather easily, they are also useful in diagnosing conditions of internal organs, including the lungs (pneumonia, TB, cancer), breasts (cancer), abdomen (digestive disorders), heart (enlargement) and pelvis (reproductive disorders). A general diagnostic x-ray can help your physician make an informed decision about additional imaging or testing to aid in a diagnosis. Ultrasound Way back in the 1790?s, Italian biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani?s first studied ultrasound physics when he discovered that bats use soundwaves to navigate in the dark (echolocation). It took some time, but the idea to measure soundwaves eventually led to the development of the medical ultrasound, first used in 1956.

The principle behind ultrasound is pretty simple ? specialized equipment detects changes in high-frequency soundwaves as they pass through the body and are reflected back. A picture is built based on those changes.

Ultrasound can also capture the actual functioning of organs in real time. For example, a cardiac ultrasound allows the physician to see blood passing through the chambers of the heart, to measure the force of the blood as it leaves the heart, and to look at the heart?s valves as they open and close. Your doctor might order a cardiac ultrasound if you have symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pains, or a murmur.

Ultrasound is the second-most commonly used diagnostic imaging procedure. It is useful for diagnosing problems of the urinary tract, gall bladder, kidney, liver, ovaries, pancreas, spleen, thyroid, uterus and blood vessels. A carotid ultrasound (and Doppler) can help physicians diagnose blocked arteries before a stroke occurs. Ultrasound involves no radiation exposure?Nuclear Medicine
When we think ?nuclear?, our minds may go to weapons or power plants. In fact, nuclear medicine is an important and unique tool in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. The development of nuclear medicine spans decades and includes contributions from scientists, physicists, and engineers.

Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of radioactive substances ? or ?radiotracers? ? to get a picture of a particular area of the body. For example, radioactive iodine-125 tends to go to the thyroid gland. Measuring the thyroid?s ?uptake? of this radioactive substance allows doctors to see how the gland is functioning. In addition to the thyroid, nuclear medicine can be used to study conditions of the bones, heart, lungs, liver, and many other internal organs.

Nuclear medicine studies involve an injection or an oral dose of radiation and then imaging collects the resulting data. These procedures are extremely safe and very simple. Nuclear medicine studies measure the function of the organ or structure and, because of this, often shows abnormalities much earlier than other forms of imaging.

CT Scan (AKA the ?Cat Scan?)
The first clinical CT scan was performed on October 1, 1971 on a young lady in London, England who doctors suspected of having a brain tumor. The scan took hours to complete, but launched a new era of modern neuroimaging. Short for Computerized Axial Tomography, today?s CT scans use computer equipment and x-ray technology to create incredibly detailed, three-dimensional images quickly and comfortably. CT scans are often used in emergencies because the scan takes less than five minutes, compared to up to 30 minutes for an MRI.

The use of CT scans is on the rise, possibly because the public is increasingly aware of the signs of a stroke. Because patients are more knowledgeable than before, they?re arriving at the ER earlier in the stroke scenario, when the most can be done for them. As a result, more CT scans are being ordered so physicians can start the right treatment quickly.

CTs can also be ordered to diagnose back and spine problems, brain tumors and joint disease. An imaging procedure, called the Low Dose CT (LDCT) has recently been approved by Medicare/Medicaid as a tool for the early detection of lung cancer. This is a very promising step forward in turning the tide on this cancer. A CT scan is a powerful tool as it provides a wealth of information. However, a CT scan does expose the patient to relatively higher doses of radiation, so it?s important for you and your doctor to balance risks with benefits.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI
When Dr. Raymond Damadian was a boy growing up in New York, his grandmother lost her painful battle with breast cancer, fueling his pursuit of a career in medical research. Dr. Damadian would eventually invent the MRI machine, which was first used to perform a full-body scan in 1977.

MRI works by using a very powerful magnet to align the hydrogen atoms inside the body. Radio waves are then used to disturb this alignment, causing the atoms to vibrate. Highly advanced computer programs generate detailed images from the vibrations. Like CT scans, detailed, three-dimensional views are available with an MRI. Unlike CT, there is no radiation exposure.

MRIs are used to diagnose a variety of disorders, including tumors, aneurysms, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, eye and inner ear problems. A form of MRI, called fMRI (functional MRI), can measure brain function. For example a head MRI can help determine whether you sustained any damage from a head injury. Your doctor may order a head MRI to investigate symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, seizures, changes in thinking or behavior, blurry vision, or chronic headaches.

Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI has three MRI machines:
? Open. This equipment is very comfortable and open on 3 sides. It is an excellent option for patients who may be claustrophobic, and it can accommodate various body types.
? 1.5T. This fast-acting machine is open at both ends and provides high-quality images.
? 3T. The 3T is also open at both ends, offers very high resolution, and is excellent for orthopedic, neuro and prostate imaging.

Many brilliant minds and historical events lead to today?s options for life-saving imaging. Discuss the options with your doctor next time you need a scan, and remember that you have a choice of where to have imaging performed.? Lexington Diagnostic Center & Open MRI provides quality, state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging. We offer affordable MRI, CT, ultrasound, DEXA/Bone Density Scans, x-ray and imaged guided fluoroscopy epidural and joint injections.

From Employee To Patient

“Ms Baker, if you needed surgery, would you have it done?” Was I hearing this correctly? Did the endocrinologist I met for the first time say “surgery”? My next step was to get another medical opinion on this. I emailed my primary care physician and since I am an employee at LDC, I asked Dr. Pope. He looked at my recent lab values and said, “If you don’t have broken bones, you will”.

I heard from my primary care physician and she said, “Eventually, you will progress to surgery.”

I learned I have a parathyroid disease. My next step was to call the endocrinologist’s office and with a stumbling voice, said, “I think I want to have the surgery done”.

So I was sent to a surgeon for evaluation. His first order was a nuclear medicine parathyroid scan. The next scan was a CT and the final scan was a 3T MRI (our newest machine).

As an employee at LDC, I decided to have that done at my office. I have worked as a medical transcriptionist for 16 years there, but I am an introvert and hesitated to share my personal health information with my co-workers. However, I swallowed my pride because I knew this was the best place to go and it would also to save me money. Since LDC is not affiliated with a hospital, their prices are significantly more affordable.

I am so glad I chose to have my scans at my place of employment. I encountered my coworkers from a different viewpoint. This time, as a patient.

Of course I knew my treatment would be personal because I was an employee, but what I didn’t expect was the great level of professionalism, knowledge, skills, courtesy and kindness that our unique employees displayed.

For the nuclear medicine scan, Karen Harter called me the day before my test and explained what would happen and what to expect. I was injected with contrast and images were taken. Then I returned 3 hours later and more images were taken. I was made comfortable and I felt no ill-effects from the contrast injection. I simply laid on the table and held still while Karen operated the machine. Dr. Pope told me the results later–a small benign tumor was found on one of my parathyroid glands.

The surgeon ordered a CT scan next. For this scan, I had the help of technologist Aaron Seul and our nurse Karen Sykes. Karen asked me all the safety questions before I was injected with contrast and the CT scan was taken. I was cleared for the administration of IV contrast, and so I was injected with a different type of contrast this time. My head felt warm and I had a metallic taste in my mouth, but I felt no ill-effects afterwards. Again, all I had to do was lay still and not move in order for Aaron to get clear pictures, similar to taking pictures with a camera. If a camera is shaken while taking the picture, the picture will be fuzzy. It is a similar process with getting a CT, nuclear medicine or MRI scan.

In the process of all this, I found that all my coworkers in all departments knew their jobs and did them well. I was amazed at the skills of everyone including reception, billing, scheduling, technologist and the radiologist. I saw our team at their best.

My last scan was an MRI. Some people are claustrophobic about going inside the MRI machine because it feels similar to being in a cave or coal mine. I drew on personal experience to help me through the scan.

When I was a kid, my friends and I explored caves around my hometown Mt. Vernon, KY. A favorite game was “can you get through fat man’s squeeze”. This is narrow spot in the cave that makes passage difficult and a bit scary because caves have no sunlight and without a flashlight, there is no light at all in caves.

After working at LDC for 16 years, I knew it was important to lay very still while inside the MRI in order for the technologist to get clear pictures for the radiologist to review and interpret. I drew on this experience when I was taking my MRI scan. I simply thought of “fat man’s squeeze”, closed my eyes, breathed deeply and prayed when I was put into the closed 1.5 high-field MRI.

However, after just a few minutes of being in the MRI, it was decided that the 3T MRI might give a better picture of my specific tumor.

So I was moved upstairs to the 3T MRI, with the help of Paula, Cat and Brett. These three were also very professional, skilled and courteous. I had never seen this side of my co-workers on a personal level only observing from the sidelines. Since some scans were already finished, it was time for the scans to be done after contrast was injection. Brett did the injection and it was nearly pain free. This contrast was the third type of contrast, and I felt no ill effects from the injection. I repeated my earlier practice of closing my eyes, breathing deeply and praying.

The scan was finished and now it was time to wait until Dr. Pope had time to review my images. When he did, he said, “I can see the adenoma (benign tumor)”. The other transcriptionist Pam typed my report and it was faxed to my surgeon’s office the next day.

LDC had provided me a CD of all three scans, so I hand delivered them to my surgeon’s office. Confident that the surgeon had all the information he needed to do the surgery, I went home. A few days later, his surgery scheduler called me to schedule the surgery.

I had a successful surgical procedure to remove the tumor and have recovered completely. I am thankful to have seen my co-workers in a completely different light-?as a vulnerable anxious patient. It is clear to me that the employees of Lexington Diagnostic Center live out their mission which is to provide quality compassionate medical imaging care. I am proud to work at such a place.

Making Outstanding Care, Superior Quality Convenient and Affordable

When it?s time for an imaging study ? CT scan, MRI, ultrasound ? many patients simply ?go with the flow? in the belief that there are no choices or that all of the choices are essentially the same.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Lexington Diagnostic Center and Open MRI, located on Harrodsburg Road in Lexington offers patients not only outstanding, personal care but superior quality as well. With full-time board-certified and fellowship-
trained radiologists, experienced, certified technical staff, commitment to the patient and family, and state-of-the-art equipment, Lexington Diagnostic Center is able to deliver a much higher level of care than is available anywhere else.

?Diagnostic imaging is all we do,? said Davonna Saier, Marketing Director for Lexington Diagnostic Center & Open MRI. ?This singular focus allows LDC to schedule patients quickly, conduct tests efficiently, provide outstanding quality and reporting and do it all at a cost significantly less than what patients might pay elsewhere.?

Patients are sometimes concerned that imaging studies performed outside a hospital setting won?t be readily available to their physicians, or can?t be compared to previous studies. ?That is absolutely not a concern,? Saier said. ?Lexington Diagnostic Center provides an advanced Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) which allows the referring physician to access our radiologists? reports and imaging studies from their own computers, or even from the surgery suite at the local hospitals,? Saier said.

Further, every patient who has imaging performed at LDC leaves the center that day with a disk containing all of the images captured during the visit. ?They can take the images directly to their doctor for review and, of course, the images are always archived here at the center for future reference if needed.? Patients also have access to all of their study reports from Lexington Diagnostic through a secure internet connection, the Patient Portal.

As for comparing today?s images to those captured months or even years ago, Lexington Diagnostic Center is able to request those images from other medical facilities for comparison purposes ? continuity of care ? without issue. ?We have a courier who runs between all the medical

facilities daily picking up imaging studies and returning them here, to the Center, where our radiologists use them to compare today?s studies with any studies performed previously,? Saier said. ?It is very important we compare our studies to any prior images that have been done before.?

There is no charge to the patient for this service ? and no hassle either. ?All they need to do is tell us where they had the images taken and when, and we?ll take care of the rest,? Saier said.

It?s one advantage of having imaging done at LDC that many patients really appreciate, she added. Another benefit is how convenient and easy it is to have testing done at Lexington Diagnostic. With evening and Saturday hours, patients never have to wait weeks to have a test scheduled. And when you arrive at the center for testing, you can feel confident that your test will be performed and you?ll be on your way quickly. There are no long waits caused by numerous emergency cases bumping the schedule. Results are reported to the referring physician quickly, typically in less than 72 business hours, Saier noted.

One of the most important considerations for patients receiving care anywhere is cost. Patients at Lexington Diagnostic Center have peace of mind knowing exactly how much their imaging study will cost, and what their out-of-pocket costs will be. Most patients will save hundreds of dollars by choosing to have their MRIs, CTs and other radiology tests performed at LDC instead of the local hospital.

?That?s because hospitals have to cover all of that overhead ? the cafeteria, laundry, parking garages ? it?s all rolled up into every patient?s bill. At Lexington Diagnostic Center, imaging is the only thing we do. We keep our overhead costs low and that keeps our prices low, too. And the Radiologist fee is included, so you won?t receive an extra bill from the physician.?

Taking advantage of the Lexington Diagnostic Center difference is quite easy. All you have to do is speak up when your doctor orders an imaging procedure for you. ?Most patients don?t realize they have the right to decide where they?ll go for a test or procedure,? Saier said. When patients fail to express a preference, the doctor?s office will schedule the procedure where it is most convenient for them ? usually the hospital.

Sometimes patients feel uncomfortable telling physician they need find a less expensive alternative to the hospital, Saier noted. That?s natural. But, she added, ?Your doctor should be just as concerned about your financial health as he or she is about your physical health.?

Cost transparency is an important part of the Lexington Diagnostic Center patient care philosophy. ?It?s important for patients to know not only how much a test will cost, but what they will be responsible for in terms of co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance,? Saier said. LDC works with the patient?s insurer to determine the out-of-pocket costs before testing is performed. Patients are informed up front of the total cost, usually at least 48 hours before their appointment. Payment is collected on the day of their imaging appointment.

?This means patients never have to worry about getting a bill they didn?t expect 30 or 60 days later,? Saier said. And, unlike hospitals, Lexington Diagnostic?s bill includes the radiologist?s professional fees. ?There will ever only be one, all-inclusive bill from us,? Saier said. ?You?ll never receive a bill in the mail later with a fee you didn?t know about.?

LDC accepts most all insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. ?We?ve actually had them conference in on the phone with patients to reschedule them from a higher-priced facility to us. We save money for insurance companies and for patients. That?s why it?s so important to shop for healthcare costs. Always call and compare prices,? Saier added.

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