X-Ray & Diagnostic Ultrasound Consultants
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1 Ripon Road • Kingston 5         (876) 929-8140  
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  Physician FAQs

Physicians, here are answers to some of your most frequently asked questions at X-Ray & Diagnostic Ultrasound Consultants Ltd.

Why do you generally recommend mammograms instead of Breast ultrasound?
Mammograms are the primary tool used for breast examination and detect approximately 80% of breast cancer. When a lump is identified, ultrasound enables us to determine if it is fluid containing or solid. Ultrasound is also a useful adjunct to mammography when an area of dense tissue is seen in the breast, or if you have a particular concern about something felt in a self-exam or clinical exam which is not detected on the mammogram. Ultrasound can be used to clarify such concerns. Ultrasound is also useful for guiding biopsies of the breasts. 

Why not ultrasounds in regards to fatty breasts tissue?
Ultrasound is usually reserved for women with dense breast tissue that can make it difficult to read a mammogram. In contrast, women with less-dense (fatty) breasts can almost always get an accurate read from a mammogram. The ultrasound does not penetrate fatty tissue efficiently.

What is the difference between analogue and digital mammography?
Digital and analog mammography both use x-rays to produce an image of the breast. Analog mammography is an older technology that stores the image on film.

The digital mammography available at our facility, on the other hand, takes an electronic image of the breast and stores it directly in a computer. This allows the image to be enhanced, magnified, and otherwise manipulated resulting in a far more accurate examination. Better still, the dose of radiation patients receive is far less in digital mammography, making it a safer exam.

Why not Breast Specific Gamma Imaging instead of Mammograms?
Again, mammograms are the primary tool used for breast examination. They generally provide a very accurate diagnosis, and they are more cost effective for your patients.

Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI) is generally reserved for situations where mammography fails and further breast evaluation is needed, for example when patients have dense breast tissue, multiple suspicious lesions or clusters of micro-calcifications, palpable lesions not detected by mammography or ultrasound, post-surgical or post-therapeutic masses, breast Implants, or have taken hormone replacement therapies. As the referring physician you will always be consulted when we feel that BSGI is warranted.

BSGI imparts a higher dose of radiation to the tissues hence would not be ideal for general usage.

Why not perform an Ultrasound instead of a Mammogram in patients under 35?
Breast ultrasound is often the study of choice to evaluate masses in women under 35 whose mammograms are found to be difficult to interpret due to the density of their breast tissue. We believe ultrasound of the breast should not be allowed to stand alone, as many of the changes which the mammogram could show are not generally identified by ultrasound.

Why virtual colonography instead of a barium enema.
Colonography provides clearer and more detailed images than does a conventional barium enema (x-ray) examination. Additionally, for patients over 70, recent studies have shown that colonography findings yield a higher number of new, significant extracolonic abnormalities than a barium enema.

We however dedicate significant time and care in performing the barium enema and this results in findings which compete favourably with colonoscopy or colonography. Given its much lower cost we regard it as a most valuable test in our office.

Why don’t you do virtual colonography in patients with chronic constipation?
We have found that patients with a history of constipation are difficult to prepare; as in spite of laxatives, there is virtually always a large volume of residual content in the colon, resulting in a lack of clarity in the images.

Why not Chest x-rays and abdominal Ultrasound instead of Computed Tomography (CT) in monitoring patients with a history of cancer?
Unlike x-rays CT gives sectional views of the chest and abdomen. Hence identifies problems which cannot be detected by x-rays. The chest x-ray is now virtually obsolete in this regard. The MDCT test also offers greater detail than the ultrasound exam. Often times we employ the ultrasound exam to complement the CT.

Is a Ct Lumbar Spine more beneficial than a plain x-ray?
The cross-sectional pictures of the lower back (lumbar spine) provided by CT are more beneficial than the plain x-ray in the development of an accurate diagnosis because of the detail provided. CT is always carefully considered before application due to the higher radiation dose.

What kinds of procedures are done on your machines?
We offer a wide variety of testing at XDUCL. Please review our list of services to get a better understanding of the procedures we offer. If you have a question about a specific test or procedure please feel free to call us at (876) 929-8140.

Can you facilitate a patient promptly?
Yes. We can generally see your patients within a day for most tests and are always open for emergencies.

Why do you require such rigorous bowel preparation for the barium enema and virtual colonography?
A bowel cleansing for either of these tests is extremely important. In order to get an accurate image, the patient's colon must be rendered completely clear of any stool. Even a small amount of stool can affect the accuracy of the test.

Is it necessary to perform Bone Density study in order to diagnose osteoporosis?
Yes.  Osteoporosis can't be diagnosed with a simple x-ray.  However, it can easily be diagnosed with a bone mineral density study, a scan that is available at X-Ray & Diagnostic Ultrasound Consultants.

Why is the MDCT aorto-femoral run-off so expensive when compared to other CT exams?
The MDCT aorto-femoral run-off is an extremely complex scan which uses approximately 1500 CT slices. Far more than the other tests, hence the higher costs.

Do you have the necessary drugs and equipment for resuscitating patients?
Yes, our offices are equipped to resuscitate patients. Additionally, our staff is trained in emergency resuscitation techniques.

Who performs the ultrasound exams?   Doctor or Technologist?
The ultrasound exam is performed by our physicians. All care is provided by our Radiologists Dr. Clarke and Dr. Lofters or our visiting cardiologists.

Is there a doctor in attendance when contrast media is being administered for the MDCT exam?
One of our radiologists always supervises our highly skilled technologists who administer the contrast media.

How quickly are results made available?
Patients and their physicians can usually obtain results immediately after an examination at our facility, except in the case of a CT Scan, BSGI or biopsies. Results are generally available within 1-2 days for BSGI and CT Scans. Biopsies may take up to 7 days. Of course for emergency CT Scan results are available immediately (within1-2 hours).

Do you accept health insurance cards?
Yes, when the care is covered by insurance. For patients with private insurance we are happy to provide the needed documentation to enable a patient to submit a claim for reimbursement. We accept Sagicor and Medecus.



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