By Advanced Imaging of Port Charlotte
Finally, it is here. Season is over, the roads are less crowded, the two hour wait to get into your favorite restaurant has ended and things just seem a little calmer. So at last, it is time for you to take the time to take care of yourself. For months, you may have been putting off your annual physical or have been ignoring those aches and pains, so that you didn’t have to deal with the crowds in the doctor’s office. Well, the time has arrived for you to make time for yourself. Call your doctor, schedule your tests and follow up; your health depends on it and you are worth it.
Many adults ignore their own health for a variety of reasons: children, finances and even fear. The good news is that your physicians are more than willing to see you and you have the fortune of having a state of the art imaging center right here in Port Charlotte. Advanced Imaging of Port Charlotte has mastered the art of maintaining the small town feel while at the same time offering the most advanced technology and diagnostic testing available anywhere. Advanced Imaging, offers tests that are not available at any other facilities in the area; from DaTscan’s to test for Parkinson’s disease to MRI guided prostate biopsies. At Advanced Imaging, you are able to have both routine testing such as an x-ray and the sophisticated tests that are not offered elsewhere.
Going to the doctor can be scary, especially if you have been putting it off and ignoring symptoms. However, your physician is the person best able to assess your health issues and if necessary, order the proper diagnostic tests. Advanced Imaging offers everything from x-rays, ultra-sounds, mammograms, CT scans, PET scans, MRI’s, Nuclear Stress Tests, biopsies and now DAT scans and MRI guided prostate biopsies. Why would you need these tests?
X-rays can be ordered for everything from diagnosing pneumonia to determining if there is a broken bone or if someone has ingested a foreign object.
Ultra-sounds can be used to examine many of the body’s internal organs, including but not limited to the: heart and blood vessels, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas,
bladder, the uterus, ovaries, gestational ultrasounds in pregnant patients, thyroid and scrotum. Ultra-sounds are also used to guide procedures such as needle biopsies and breast biopsies. Doppler ultrasounds are used to determine the condition of the heart and whether or not it is functioning at capacity.
Mammograms are something familiar to most women over the age of forty. Advanced Imaging offers digital mammograms using soft pads. The soft pads make the mammogram more comfortable for the patient. The mammogram itself is a quick procedure taking just a few minutes. Advanced Imaging offers both screening and diagnostic mammograms. Women should consult with their physician as to when to begin having their annual mammogram.
CT scans (Computerized Tomography) is used to diagnose muscle and bone disorders, such as bone tumors and fractures or to pinpoint the location of a tumor, infection or blood clot. As with ultrasounds, CT’s can be used in biopsies, as well as to detect and monitor diseases such as cancer, heart disease, lung nodules and liver masses. CT’s can also be used to detect internal injuries or internal bleeding. CT scans are used in place of an MRI when a patient has a pace maker or an internal pump, such as a nerve block stimulator or a pain pump.
PET exams (Positron Emission Tomography) are most often used in people who have cancer, heart disease or brain disorders. Cancer shows up as highlighted spots on PET scans because cancer cells have a higher metabolic rate than normal cells. PET scans can also be used to determine if cancer has spread, if the cancer is responding to treatment, where the cancer originated or whether cancer has recurred. In general, PET scans may be used to assess organs and/or tissues for the presence of disease or other conditions. PET may also be used to evaluate the function of organs such as the heart or brain. Another use of PET scans is to diagnose Alzheimer’s and other neurological conditions.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) allows your physician to look at soft tissue of the body without exposing you to radiation. MRI allows physician’s to see bone abnormalities, problems with ligaments, tendons, joints as well as some pelvic and abdominal issues. Recently, Advanced Imaging began performing MRI guided prostate biopsies. These biopsies are used in patients who have previously been diagnosed with prostate cancer and have undergone previous prostate biopsies. In the MRI guided biopsy, the MRI allows the physician to see exactly what area of the prostate to biopsy and therefore is more specific and less invasive for the patient.
Nuclear Stress Tests are ordered if your physician suspects that you have coronary artery disease or another heart problem such as chest pain or shortness of breath. The nuclear stress test measures blood flow to your heart in two ways, resting and when the heart is under stress (physical activity). The test shows your physician areas of your heart that may show limited blood flow or show other damage to the heart muscle.
DaTscans are the most recent test available at Advanced Imaging. DaTscans are the only FDA approved test to determine whether or not someone has Parkinson’s disease (PD). The DaTscan measures the dopamine receptors in the brain. The DaTscan helps your physician rule out other conditions such as essential tremors. The DaTscan should be ordered by your physician if he/she suspects PD and you are not responding to medication or other treatments.
As with all tests performed at Advanced Imaging, you should always consult with your physician and discuss your symptoms and concerns. Your physician knows your history and is the best person to decide what testing, if any, is the best diagnostic tool for your particular condition and health situation. Should your physician order a diagnostic exam for you, remember, you do have a choice in where to have your imaging performed. For your convenience, Advanced Imaging has weekend and evening hours and accepts all major insurances as well as Medicare.