Imaging

CT Centre and Ultrasound

CT Centre Offers Latest Technology

ge_lightspeedpr016The Surgical Clinic operates its own CT Centre to offer our patients the latest technology in diagnostic testing in a comfortable and convenient setting. Computed Tomography (CT) and computed tomography angiography (CTA) are more commonly referred to as CAT scans. These are digital diagnostic tests that allow your surgeons to see the internal structures of your body. These soft tissue areas and bones are examined using the GE™ Lightspeed 16 Slice Scanner.

The data from this exam will be used to help the Surgeon determine the best treatment plan and surgical approach for you. The goal in the CT Centre is to provide you and your surgeon with the highest quality of images so that you are comfortable in making decisions about next steps.

CT and CTA procedures are done while you are awake. While you may feel that the process is a little bit like an x-ray, there are some things you will may be instructed to do to be ready for your procedure. Since the images are looking at soft tissue, it is sometimes necessary to drink a liquid that will work as a contrast agent about 8 hours before your exam. It helps light up areas of tissue so that abnormalities can be seen. In these cases, it is important to let the CT Centre know about any allergies or kidney problems you may have so that they can insure that the contrast will not be harmful to you. It is also possible that contrast will be added through an IV or an injection while you are in the exam. Regardless of how the contrast may have been added, your body will naturally eliminate it within a day of your exam.

In some cases, no contrasting is needed, but you may be asked not to eat or drink for the 8 hours prior to your appointment. In this case, you need to discuss any daily medication schedules (including for diabetes) that might be impacted by an 8-hour delay. Results from your CT or CTA will be sent to your doctor. You should expect a phone call or a follow up appointment with your Surgeon to discuss your results and to develop your next steps.

Learn more about the CT Centre at the following links:

Computed Tomography (CT)                                         Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)

Vascular Ultrasound

Vascular ultrasound and physiologic vascular procedures are booked for The Surgical Clinic patients in the Vascular Laboratory. This convenient and comfortable settings allow Registered Vascular Technologists (RVTs) to evaluate the blood supply to and from various parts of the body. This information is obtained without any invasive procedures. After an appointment, you will, therefore, be able to return to your regular schedule of activities. It is important to point out that your care will be delivered by a professional with an RVT certification. The RVT certification, not required in many labs, is the standard at The Surgical Clinic’s labs and helps to assure you that your tests are being conducted by people specialized in these diagnostic procedures.
The Surgical Clinic understands that many times patients will want to get things moving as fast as possible. Vascular Labs are part of The Surgical Clinic in the convenient locations of St. Thomas West, Downtown Clinic, Summit, Skyline,and all three of the Vein Centres at Belle Meade, Mt Juliet and Cool Springs. These locations allow you to access advanced laboratory professionals without the congestion of a hospital setting. While appointments are required, it is often possible to make a ‘same-day’ appointment. Your test results will be sent to your Surgeon to help determine a recommended course of treatment.
The state-of-the-art laboratory is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission 
and each of the RVT’s are registered through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).

Vascular Health Screening

The key to excellent vascular care is proper diagnosis and treatment options. The Surgical Clinic’s ICAVL accredited vascular laboratory offers vascular screening services to assure that you receive proper diagnosis and treatment of your vascular condition. The state-of-the-art vascular ultrasound screening services are painless, fast and accurate. A vascular screening will help identify unnoticed vascular conditions. However, these screening do not take the place of a physical exam.

More about Ultrasound

Abdominal Ultrasound

Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy

What is Duplex Ultrasound 
Duplex Ultrasound: What to Expect 

Raynaud’s Testing

Understanding Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Treatment for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Physiologic (Non-Imaging) Testing

Physiologic arterial testing is the evaluation of the amount of blood flow to the arms or legs. If narrowing in an artery reduces the amount of blood flow to the arms or legs, we can detect this with physiologic testing. First we listen to the arterial flow and record waveforms of the flow pattern. We take blood pressures at different levels on the arms or legs, and we may have you walk on a treadmill for approximately five minutes to see if blood flow to the legs is reduced further with walking. All of this data helps your physician determine the overall significance of any narrowing and how much blood flow is getting to the legs or arms.

Ankle/Brachial Index

This is a simple physiologic test that involves taking a blood pressure from your arms and your ankles. We obtain a ratio of the ankle pressure to the arm pressure that tells us if the blood flow to your ankles is normal or abnormal. This test is the first step in evaluating the blood flow to your legs and is used to determine which further testing is performed.

Arterial Doppler with Segmental Pressures Upper and Lower Extremities

This test involves taking blood pressures from different levels of your legs or arms. We also record waveforms of the blood flow to determine the quality of the blood flow. The blood pressures and waveforms help determine where any arterial narrowing is located.

Arterial Doppler with Treadmill

This test may assess your blood pressures in your arms and ankles after you have walked for 5 minutes on a Treadmill. This measures how exercise affects the blood flow to your legs. It is usually conducted after the Ankle/Brachial Index and Segmental Pressure testing is completed.

Gallbladder Ultrasound

The gallbladder is a sac-like organ that lies below the liver and is used for storage of bile. When eating, the gallbladder releases bile to the intestines to help digest food. Gallbladder ultrasound is performed to evaluate the cause of abdominal pain which could be caused by gallstones, inflammation of the gallbladder, or obstruction of the bile ducts. For this test the patient is asked to not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours prior to the exam. The patient will be asked to remove any clothing or objects that interfere with the scan and will be given a gown to wear. The patient will be asked to lie on their back initially and then may be asked to change into a sitting or other positions for optimal view of the gallbladder. Ultrasound gel is placed on the upper abdomen and the sonographer will use a transducer to move around the abdomen to obtain images of the gallbladder.

Renal Ultrasound

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs located on each side that filter blood. Renal ultrasound is performed to evaluate the size of the kidneys, to look at related structures such as the ureters and bladder, and to detect cysts, tumors, obstructions, fluid collections, kidney stones, and possible infections. For this test the patient may be asked to wear a gown and remove any clothing or objects that may interfere with the scan. The patient may lie on the exam table either on their back or stomach in order to capture the best images. Ultrasound gel is placed on the abdomen and the sonographer will use a transducer to move around the abdomen, sides, or around the back to look for the best image of the kidneys. The patient may be asked to not eat or drink anything overnight prior to the procedure or 4-8 hours prior to the procedure. They patient may also be asked to drink a lot of water, or to not empty their bladder, prior to the procedure

Thyroid Ultrasound

The thyroid is a gland in the front of the neck shaped like a butterfly. This gland helps regulate metabolism. A thyroid ultrasound is performed to look for any abnormal growths or lumps and can help determine if the growth is a cyst, thyroid enlargement, nodule, or tumor. Thyroid ultrasound is also done to monitor known growths to see if they are getting larger over time. Characteristics of the thyroid ultrasound will help your doctor determine if any other tests may be needed. For this test the patient lies on their back with the neck extended. Ultrasound gel is placed on the neck which helps the sound waves enter the body. The ultrasound transducer is then moved around your neck, which creates an image on the ultrasound machine. There is no preparation necessary for this test.

General Ultrasound

An ultrasound is created when high frequency sound waves are exposed to a body part. These waves are assembled to create a picture of the inside of the body. Sometimes this type of imaging is called ultrasound scanning or sonography.

The risk of exposure by using ultrasounds is very low since unlike an x-ray, there is no ionizing radiation. The technique allows images of the inside of your body to be captured in real time while they are working. This reveals the structure and movement of the internal organs as well as lets doctors watch blood flowing through your vessels.

There are different types of ultrasound images that can be captured. A conventional machine displays images in thin, flat sections. Other technologies allow for a three-dimensional (3-D) image or an image that shows the entire structure to be studied from all angles. A four-dimensional technology (4-D) image can allow the radiologist to put a 3-D image in motion.

You may also be scheduled for a Doppler ultrasound. This is a special technique that examines blood flowing through a vessel. Areas of your body where a Doppler might be used are major arteries (the vessels that carry blood away from the heart) and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.

By watching the tissues at work, doctors can observe abnormalities, diagnose problems and develop treatment plans. Since the procedure is just tracking sound waves, there is no recovery time for you from this procedure.