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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
1. What is thermal imaging used for? Most patients come to us for breast imaging but we also use it to help in determining the cause of pain. aid in the early detection of temperature change, evaluate sensory-nerve irritation or significant soft-tissue injury, define a previously diagnosed injury or condition, identify an abnormal area for further diagnostic testing.
2. Does it hurt to have a scan taken? No. There is no contact with the body or painful breast compression.
3. What is different about your type of thermography compared to others ? Our camera is a Class 1, FDA cleared medical device with 510(k) clearance number K003332. Most of the scanners used at other clinics are industrial devices that have been modified for clinical use. Our camera is specifically designed for medical use and not used in any other industry. Our camera is specifically calibrated to read body temperatures to within 1/100 of a degree and records over 80,000 temperatures with each image. The 8 degree range allows for the smallest subtleties to be detected. It is designed to control thermal drift and does not have the infrared blocking optical lens of an industrial camera. Simply put, it is the best and most advanced camera for thermography imaging.
4. How long will the appointment take? A thermography scan appointment will typically take 20 minutes for the Breast area and 40 minutes for Full Body Thermography.
5. How can I make an appointment? Call our office at (505)271-6608 anytime for questions or to make an appointment. We are almost always available by phone unless we are on a call with another patient. If you reach our recording, please leave your contact information. We will be notified that you have called and we will return your call as soon as possible.
6. Do I need a referral or prior authorization? No you do not need a referral. Most patients come to us referred by practitioners, but we do not require a referral for the scan.
7. How far in advance should I schedule an appointment? If your schedule is flexible we can usually get you in for a scan in a few days if your schedule is flexible. If you are coming from out of town and need a specific date we advise that you call at least one week in advance and we will do our best to accommodate your time schedule.
8. Can friends or partners come to the visit? If you have a friend or partner who would like to accompany you to the appointment, they are welcome to be present. You will be in a climate controlled room kept between 68 and 72 degrees and temperatures vary with the seasons, so depending upon the conditions they may be able to watch the exam but that is a judgment call by the technician. In any case, your friend or partner will be allowed to be present while we review the images with you, if you so choose.
9. How will I get my report for the scan? Your report will be mailed to you usually within 5 to 7 working days of the day of your scan. Most patients find the report self explanatory but if you would like, Dr. Garcia will review the results with you over the phone for a consultation fee of $30 for 10 minutes, or $50 for twenty minutes.
10. Who evaluates my scan? All of our images are interpreted by MDs specifically trained in thermographic interpretation and certified by the only non-profit thermography medical board in the United States. The M.D. will write the report and send it to us, usually within 3 or 4 days. Dr. Garcia will also review your report and point out any issues that require further evaluation or attention. Our technicians are trained by the American College of Clinical Thermology, at Duke University.
11. Can you E-mail my report to me? At the time of your appointment we will give you the option to receive your results by U.S. Mail or Email.
12. Will my insurance cover the infrared procedure/ test and the office visits? At the present time, most insurance companies do not cover the procedure. You are given a receipt for your visit, which can be used as a medical expense for your taxes if applicable. Our policy is to receive payment in full for the infrared thermogram at the time of service and we can provide you with the paperwork necessary for you to submit the bill to your insurance company for possible reimbursement in the form of a “Super Bill” for the procedure portion of the infrared scan.
13. How much does Digital Infrared Imaging cost? The costs are as follows: Breast Scan(5 views) – $240 (Save $23 with Special Promotional Price of $217, through August 31, 2022), Full Body Scan (25-30 views including breast views) – $450 (Save $65 with Special Promotional Price of $385 through August 31, 2022). A 10-minute phone consultation is $30. A 20-minute phone consultation is $50.
14. Do you take credit cards? Yes. We accept all forms of payment including Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and discover. We also accept personal checks, business checks and cash.
15. Will a Thermographic scan tell me if I have cancer ? Mammograms, Thermograms, MRIs, X-Rays or any other imaging scan cannot diagnose cancer. The most common way to make a cancer diagnosis is by taking a biopsy and having a lab analysis. A thermogram is able to detect areas of dysfunction in the body by imaging hot and cold areas. The reason this is so important, is that a change in temperature is one of the first signs of disease. This is the reason that areas of dysfunction show up so much earlier with a thermographic scan.
16. Is breast Thermography safe, even for pregnant or nursing women? Yes, Infrared is completely non-invasive, does not use radiation, does not compress the breast and is completely 100% safe. Full Body Thermography should not be performed during pregnancy or while lactating. Please feel free to call us to discuss your particular concerns with this issue.
17. Does Digital Infrared Imaging replace mammograms? No, DITI and mammography are tests based on two completely different principles, although they do complement each other. DITI(Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging) can pick up signs of inflammation missed by mammography. Mammograms do not image temperature patterns. Mammograms can only show dysfunction after there has been a change in density of the tissue, such as is the case with micro-calcifications or where a tumor has formed.
18. What are the advantages of Thermographic Imaging? Thermography is able to produce heat maps of the body. It can image changes in local physiology and blood flow unlike other clinical exams. Unlike mammography, accuracy of the test is not compromised by denser breast tissue, common in women under, 50 years of age.
19. How does Breast Thermography compare to a Mammogram? Both are imaging tests that do not specifically diagnose breast cancer, but image changes in local tissues due to various causes. Both are superior to clinical or self-examination for detecting early pathological changes. Mammography detects anatomical changes and is more precise than Thermography in identifying the exact location of a lesion, while Thermography images physiological changes that occur much earlier than anatomical changes.
20. How Often should I have a Breast Thermography? We recommend that you have a Thermography Scan once a year.
21. I have a history of breast cancer, will Thermography be helpful? Yes. You can repeat thermographic scans as often as you would like without exposure to radiation, painful compression or exposure to toxic chemicals. Thermography is a good way to image increases in heat for patients who have had mastectomies removing mammograms as an option.
22. Is Thermography appropriate for Breast Implants? Yes. The accuracy of Thermography is not affected in patients with implants. Since there is no compression there is zero risk of causing damage to the implants. Also there is no radiation that can cause drying of the implant membrane.
23. What parts of the body can be scanned ? Thermal images are taken of the whole body, or individual regions including breast, head, arms, legs, back torso, etc… A lumbar assessment would typically include, low back, pelvis, and legs. A cervical assessment would typically include, head and neck, upper trunk, and arms.