Q. What is DITI?
A. DITI or ‘Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging” is an imaging technique for measuring and displaying body temperature. It is a key diagnostic tool in the detection of disease, injury and infection. There is a high degree of thermal symmetry in a normal healthy body. Subtle abnormal temperature asymmetries can be easily identified that may be attributed to pathology or dysfunction. The amount of radiation emitted is a function of the body’s physiology. Our DITI camera captures and records this energy and converts it to a digital image called a thermogram that is saved for analysis and archiving.
Q. What is Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound?
A. An ultrasound scan uses soundwaves produced by a transducer to show the structure, size, shape and texture of soft tissues that cannot be evaluated using conventional radiographs. These soundwaves are converted into images that are a valuable diagnostic tool in assessing a wide variety of health issues. Sonography is radiation and risk free.
Q. Do I need my doctor’s referral?
A. No, Southwest Medical Thermal Imaging & Ultrasound, LLC sees patients who are both self and physician referred.
Q. How do I prepare for my DITI scan?
A. Preparing for your scan is simple, but crucial to the accuracy of the results. Do not have any physical therapy, electromyography, or chiropractic work the same day as your thermography appointment. Do not smoke or participate in vigorous exercise 2 hours before the test. Do not use any lotions, liniments or creams the day of your scan. Avoid strong sunlight exposure the day of your appointment. Please see our Exam Procedure page for more details.
Q. How do I prepare for my ultrasound?
A. No major preparation is required. Please see our Exam Procedure page for more details.
Q. How long does the imaging process take?
A. A DITI scan can be as little as 15 minutes or as long as 60 minutes depending on whether or you are having a single region of interest scan or a whole body scan performed. An ultrasound varies from just a few minutes to 30 minutes depending on the region. For more details please visit our Exam Procedure page.
Q. Why do I need to come back in three months for another breast thermogram?
A. The most accurate result we can produce is change over time. Before we can start to evaluate any changes, we need to establish an accurate and stable baseline for you. This baseline represents your unique thermal fingerprint, which will only be altered by developing pathology. A baseline cannot be established with only one study, as we would have no way of knowing if this is your normal pattern or if it is actually changing at the time of the first exam. By comparing two studies three months apart we are able to judge if your breast physiology is stable and suitable to be used as your normal baseline and safe for continued annual screening.
The reason a three-month interval is used relates to the period of time it takes for blood vessels to show change. A period of time less than three months may miss significant change while a period of time much more than three months can miss significant change that may have already taken place. There is NO substitute for establishing an accurate baseline. A single study cannot do this. Annual breast screening with thermography is recommended as this is optimal time frame in ascertaining personal variants and reducing the chance of false-negative thermal findings.
Q. What is the difference between a thermal scan, mammogram and ultrasound?
A. Thermal imaging (DITI) is a test of physiology. It detects and records the infrared heat radiating from the surface of the body. It can help in early detection and monitoring of abnormal physiology and the establishment of risk factors for the development or existence of cancer. Mammograms and ultrasounds are tests of structure and anatomy. They look at structure. When a tumor has grown to a size that is large enough and dense enough to block an x-ray beam (mammography) or a sound wave (ultrasound), it produces an image that can be detected by a trained radiologist. A mammogram, ultrasound or DITI cannot diagnose cancer. This is possible only through a biopsy.
Q. Which test is better? Do I need to do all of them?
A. There is no screening test that is 100% effective. Therefore Southwest Medical Thermal Imaging & Ultrasound, LLC recommends a multi-modality approach. A combination of DITI, ultrasound, mammogram and clinical exams provide the best possible evaluation of breast health. DITI, ultrasound and mammography should be viewed as complementary not competitive tests. DITI has the ability to identify patients at the highest level of risk and actually increases the effective usage of mammograms and ultrasounds by identifying abnormalities that need additional screening. Ultrasound and DITI are radiation and risk free.
Q. I hear from some people that you need to “cold stress” the patient. What is “cold stressing”? Do I really need to do it?
A. Cold stressing is a test to measure sympathetic function. It is a useful test for a number of conditions including Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (also knowns as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). It may be requested by a referring physician or reading Thermologist. Modern protocols for breast screening necessitate the establishment of a baseline and do not require routine cold stressing.
Q. Who certifies your Thermographers and Sonographers?
A. Thermography technicians are trained and certified by the American College of Clinical Thermology. The American College of Clinical Thermology is an accredited medical association. Sonographers are certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.
Q. Who reads the images and reports?
A. Thermal images are sent to an interpretation service that employs only Medical Doctors (MD) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) who are all board certified as Thermologists by the American College of Clinical Thermology. Ultrasound images are read by an MD with dual board certification as a Radiologist and Thermologist. These doctors have many years experience and are able to ask for second opinions whenever necessary.
Q. How quickly will I get my report back?
A. Reports are normally ready within a few days and are generally emailed to you and the practitioner of your choice. Should you require a paper copy of your report or if you need your report within 24 hours you will be required to pay an additional fee.
A. We do not currently accept insurance. Payment will be made to Southwest Medical Thermal Imaging & Ultrasound, LLC at the time services are rendered.