Many of my female followers have probably already had a pelvic ultrasound (US), this week I had another one. I thought it would be a good idea to introduce/refresh about this test. It had been years since my last, in my case this was done to follow a medical condition. If you have ever had a pregnancy, you are familiar with this safe (no radiation exposure) and painless procedure. This simple investigative tool is used to exam other parts of the body, including the heart, blood vessels, liver to name a few
How It works: sound waves are bounced off our internal organs – ‘pelvic US’ – ovaries, uterus and bladder – showing not only shape, size but how blood flows to the organs. No menstrual flow can be occurring for this test.
Actual Test: There is no restriction to eating or drinking but you are told to drink at least two 8 oz glasses of water one hour before test. You must hold your urine, no bathroom stop on way into the sonographer’s room. The full bladder moves female organs into view and provides a solid contrast image.
A clear warm gel will be applied to your abdomen, then a slight pressure as the ‘transducer’ (a microphone like small long device) as is applied to your abdomen especially the lower.
Dependent on why the test was ordered the transducer may be covered with a plastic sleeve and placed 2″ – 3″ into your vagina during the exam. As you can reason this offers a view, a different angle that can assist in making or identifying a problem.
Typical time for this study is about 30 minutes, mine took 22 minutes and included the vaginal viewing.
FYI: Sonography technicians train for 16 – 20 months and are supervised by the radiologists (medical imaging physician). There are many training programs but not all however accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs. There are many certifying organizations; those that pass the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography can use RDMS after their name. Several states require licensure after completion of an examination. There are over 50,000 in the US (Bureau of Labor Statistics). As always whenever someone is involved with your well-being speak up if you feel any aspect of your exam is not ‘right’!
It is well-known many cancers are caused by radiation exposure, even the sun radiation cause skin cancer the #1 cancer in the US. Medical radiation exposure is your responsibility! Every wonder what happens to all the radiation you receive when you have ‘medical imaging’ tests for such things as broken bones, stomach pains, headache, heart disease? Sadly it accumulates in your body! If you want to calculate how much you have in your body, check out the website calculator by The American Society of Radiologic Technologists – it is user-friendly.
Some tests expose you to small amounts others too much more. Radiation, harmful rays of ionizing energy, cause not just skin cancer but blood and other cancers result from our bodies being dosed. Before you have another test read this useful patient info.
Before you agree to exposure to these harmful rays ask “what difference the results would make in your care’.
DocHandal tries to bring you the latest research findings that docs like herself read and use. This blog hopes to share some and guide you to reading more, after all it is your body guys!
American Heart Association Guide for Improving Cardiovascular Health at the Community Level, 2013 Update* This study looked at 26,902 men, ages 45 to 82, free from cardiovascular disease and cancer at the start of a 16-year study. Researchers found those who skip breakfast or eat late at night could be at increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. Specifically for this study male health professionals were used. They freely admitted they regularly skipped breakfast, and were found 27% more likely to die while those who ate late at night had a 55% increase in cardiac death.
Important to note it did not appear to matter how frequently they ate a day.
REsearchers caution that, these associations appeared to be mediated by BMI (body mass index), development of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes over the years of the study.
A must read (quick) is the current guidelines by USDA and DHHS for diet.
You may often thought do I really need all those tests – well finally medical professionals from 17 medical societies have addressed this issue.
They have identified tests and procedures that are likely unnecessary for the 26 medical specialties. Examples of unnecessary tests from the specific medical society include:
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Antibiotics for apparent viral respiratory illnesses such as sinusitis or bronchitis
American Academy of Neurology (AAN): Electroencephalography (EEG) for headaches
American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO): Antibiotics for pink eye
American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP): Population-based screening for vitamin D deficiency
American Urological Association (AUA): Routine bone scans in men with a low risk of prostate cancer
Society of Hospital Medicine, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI): PET/CT scans for cancer screening in healthy individuals.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which is new to the list, recommended against performing annual Pap tests in women ages 30 to 65, since doing so offers no advantage over screening at 3-year intervals
Visit for more information ‘Choosing Wisely’
Half of the 3.2 billon Rxs dispensed annually are not taken as prescribed.
Are you surprised by this fact?
Man is different for other “animals” due to our ability to rationalize-defined as ‘attempt to explain or justify (one’s own or another’s behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate’.
So why is the above statistic not surprising? My take-here goes:
“I’ll save the remainder for next time I’ve the same thing.”
“Feel better so really do not need the ‘over kill.”
“I’ll save and use for others when the get the same thing or catch ‘what I got.”
FIND OUT! When handed a prescription (chemicals to put into your body for ‘good’) ask do I really need this? Ask under what circumstances, if any, can I stop before finishing all the pills? Some many viral infections resolve wither or not on antibiotics.
Trauma to our skin is all too common, cuts or wounds as we Docs call them need attention. This may simply mean cleaning, protecting but at other times repair with a needle and thread is required. Those that are deep or at angles need sutures-stitches! Sutures are the handiwork that result from ‘stitching’ our skin together. Skip the needed stitches and run the risk of infection &/or horrific scaring. Let the expert DocHandal give you the inside ‘skinny’ on this minor surgical procedure.
Benefits of routine screening for several conditions are being reevaluated, less is becoming the new “more’. Just like the PSA blood test Doc addresses in April 1st podcast, the Pap smear is no longer going to be recommended yearly. New guidelines state most women should wait until 21 and get tested every 3 years if it is normal. However women ages 30-65 who test negative for both HPV test & Pap smear can wait 5 years. Listen Up to Doc for more about the changes and how they will effect you, your mother, daughter.
Need to Know the Basics. Over a million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s Disease. The mean age is 55, it will start with a non intentional tremor in one of the extremities. They will develop a high degree of disability in 5-10 years even with expert care. The initial tremor indicates that 30% of dopamine stimulating neurons. Learn from DocHandal updates and true facts about this neurological disease.
Sure quicker and faster to take a drug prescribed for someone one else. A friend already has it and it is usually free, convenient and so easy! No searching for a doctor, waiting, paying a fee then a trip to the pharmacy more money out. So when you hear “Take this!” you do.
All to many of us are guilty of taking medications prescribed for someone else. After all it is a friend trying to help out when you are ill. Offering and giving you what they were prescribed for the same or similar problem does not consider your personal medical background (other conditions, allergies, interactions with other medication you may be taking).
Is “Take this’ an economic move or a deadly action? Listen Up!