Premier OB/GYN, LLC’s office includes a dedicated radiology department. Our highly trained sonographer with years of experience in gynecology and obstetrics operate the high-tech 3D/4D ultrasound equipment. The patient is provided with the convenience of in-house radiology, but more importantly, the physicians are provided with immediate answers to patient problems. This has proven to be an invaluable tool when caring for obstetric patients.
What Is Radiology?
Radiology is a specialty of medicine where images taken of the body’s organs are interpreted in order to diagnose a disease or other problems. Radiologists are medical doctors who have specialized training to interpret medical images for diagnosis. Radiologic technologists are the medical image professionals that use and manage the equipment for making the images.
Is Radiology Safe?
We all receive radiation every day because it exists everywhere in the environment. That radiation comes from the sun, from radon particles all around, from food and water, and from the Earth itself. This is known as background radiation.
So, how much radiation is in an average x-ray? The amount of radiation from one adult chest x-ray is about the same as 10 days of the natural background radiation we all receive. The benefits to seeing growths and other changes that are shown through radiology far outweigh any risks posed by the minimal radiation the patient receives.
What Radiology Services Does Premier OB/GYN, LLC Provide?
- Full-time Sonography
- Bone Density Scans (DEXA)
- Fetal non-stress testing
What Is Sonography?
Sonography is the use of an ultrasound handpiece to create images used for diagnostic purposes. Sonography is a painless medical procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body.
For gynecology, sonography can be used to detect a wide variety of conditions. It can be used as part of a standard pelvic exam to find or rule out conditions such as internal bleeding, pelvic inflammatory disease, abscesses, pelvic masses, and endometriosis. At Premier, our high-tech 3D/4D ultrasound equipment can safely monitor and examine the reproductive system in the early stages of embryo development. It can also be used to predict premature delivery by examining the size of the cervix. It can screen for fallopian tube patency and detect ectopic pregnancies. We use sonography for complete fetal examinations. We can use sonography as an adjunct to mammography, helping assess masses detected in mammograms.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Sonography?
Sonography and its ultrasound waves have no risks or complications. The human body has no negative reactions to sound wave energy.
How Long Does a Sonogram Take?
These tests are painless and take only about 30 minutes.
What is a Bone Density Scan (DEXA) used for?
A DEXA scan is a high-precision type of x-ray that measures bone density and bone loss. If your bone density is lower than normal for your age, it indicates a risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures.
DEXA stands for dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. These tests first started to be used commercially just over 30 years ago. It sends two x-ray beams at different peak energy frequencies to the target bones. One peak is absorbed by soft tissues and the other by bone. The absorption of the soft tissue is subtracted from the total absorption and this gives your bone mineral density.
Bone density scans are non-invasive, fast, and more accurate than standard x-rays. These tests deliver low levels of radiation and are used to assess bone density in postmenopausal women.
Are There Risks With Bone Density Scans?
A low level of radiation is delivered with DEXA scans. As with any x-ray, the amounts are quite low.
What Can a Bone Density Scan Diagnose?
A DEXA scan is used to determine your risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture. It can also be a tool for determining whether your osteoporosis treatment is working. These tests have dramatically improved the ability to detect bone loss. Before DEXA scans were introduced, standard x-rays could only detect bone loss when it was greater than 40 percent. DEXA scans can measure within 2 to 4 percent precision.
Beyond bone density, DEXA scans can also be used to measure body composition, lean muscle, and fat tissue. These scans are more accurate than the traditional body mass index (BMI) for determining excess fat.
Are Bone Density Scans Painful?
These scans take just a few minutes and are painless.
What Is a Fetal Non-stress Test?
A fetal non-stress test is a common prenatal test used to check on a baby’s health. During a non-stress test, the baby’s heart rate is monitored to see how it responds to the baby’s movements. The term “non-stress” refers to the fact that nothing is done to place any stress on the baby during the test. The primary goal of these tests is to measure the heart rate of the fetus in response to its own movements. Healthy babies will respond with an increased heart rate during times of movement, and the heart rate will decrease at rest.
When Would I Need a Fetal Non-Stress Test?
At Premier OB/GYN, we may recommend a non-stress test if you have:
- Multiple pregnancies with certain complications
- A pregnancy that is two weeks past your due date
- An underlying medical condition, such as type 1 diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure during your pregnancy
- A baby who has decreased fetal movements
- A baby who has possible fetal growth problems
- A history of complications in a previous pregnancy
- Rhesus sensitization — a potentially serious complication that can occur when your red cell antigen blood group is Rh-negative and your baby’s blood group is Rh positive
- Low amniotic fluid