Frequently Asked Questions
What is Thermography?
Will insurance pay for my thermograms?
What type of payments do you accept?
Do you have specials and coupons?
I hear from some people that you need to “cold stress” the patient. What is “cold stressing”? Do I really need to do it?
Who certifies your thermographers?
Who reads the images and reports?
How quickly will I get my report back?
I was told that grayscale thermograms were higher resolution than color, why don’t you show grayscale?
What is the difference between high definition thermography and other types?
Why do I need to come back in three months for another breast study?
Q. What is Thermography?
A. Thermography is Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) and is a non-invasive adjunct diagnostic technique that converts infrared radiation or heat emitted from the skin surface into electrical impulses that are visualized in color with a special camera and software. It is a 15 to 60 minute non invasive test of physiology. There is no radiation, no pain and it is a valuable procedure for alerting your doctor to changes that can indicate early stage breast disease. The benefit of DITI testing is that it offers the opportunity of earlier detection of breast disease than is possible through breast self examination, doctor examination or mammography alone. It is also useful in helping doctors in identifying up to 70 other medical issues elsewhere in the body.
Clinical uses of DITI include but are not limited to:
* To localize an abnormal area not previously identified, so further diagnostic tests can be performed;
* To define the extent of a lesion of which a diagnosis has previously been made;
* To detect early lesions before they are clinically evident, especially useful in breast disease prevention and early detection;
* To indicate inflammatory breast disease before and after symptoms have appeared;
* To indicate pathology of cancer cells growing into tumors in the breast before it can be felt or seen on a mammogram;
* As part of the overall breast cancer screening and prevention routine;
* To monitor treatment and the healing process before the patient is returned to work.
Q Will insurance pay for my thermograms?
A. Unfortunately for now most insurance companies do not cover thermograms so we have kept prices as low as possible. When you look at per year price for breast scans and overall benefits, the cost is worth every penny. Some insurances have such high deductibles that you would pay that much for your portion and if we billed insurance we would have to hire someone to bill insurance, another person to maintain insurance files and codes and to hunt down payments. This would cause the costs to go up tremendously for both us and the patient.
Q. What type of payments do you accept?
A. We currently accept checks, cash and credit cards at the time of service. We also accept credit card payments in advance on our web site and payments for gift certificates in advance on our web site. You will always receive a receipt regardless of how you pay. click to pre-pay online.
Q. Do you have specials and coupons?
A. Watch our Facebook Page for Promotions and Specials!
Of course you can always Save time and money by pre-paying for your appointment
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 RSD (CRPS). Protocols used with the Picture of Health & Thermography, LLC system for breast screening DO NOT require routine cold stressing but it may be requested by a referring physician or reading thermologist.
Q. Who certifies your thermographers?
A. Thermography technicians are trained and certified by the American College of Clinical Thermology at Duke University. The American College of Clinical Thermology is an accredited medical association.
Q. Who reads the images and reports?
A. Images are sent to an interpretation service who employ medical doctors who are all board certified as thermologists by the American College of Clinical Thermology at Duke University.
Q. I was told that grayscale thermograms were higher resolution than color, why don’t you show grayscale?
A. Nowadays there is no difference in resolution between color and grayscale with modern digitized images. When images were viewed on an old TV screen, it took three phosphors on the cathode ray tube to make one color dot…it only takes one phosphor to make a shade of grey, the resolution in black and white therefore, would be three times greater than it was in color.
Q. What is the difference between high definition thermography and other types?
A. Just about all modern cameras provide high-definition images. The ‘definition’ of a thermogram relates to how many individual temperature measurements are taken to build the image. The actual definition is not as important as how accurate and sensitive those temperature measurements are. The higher the definition, the better the picture will look but this does not mean that the accuracy is any better.
Describing a thermogram as ‘high definition’ maybe confusing and misleading as most so-called high-definition images are produced by software manipulation of the data. Low definition would be considered below 160 x 120 pixels. Industry standard is between 160 x 120 up to 320 x 240 pixels. High-definition would be considered above this and can be as high as 640 x 512 pixels.
Q. Why do I need to come back in three months for another breast study?
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……a period of time much more than three months can miss significant change that may have already taken place.
We believe there is NO substitute for establishing an accurate baseline. A single study cannot do this.