thermography FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is Thermography Safe?
Yes. The procedure poses no health risk to the patient, even if she is pregnant.
Is Thermography Expensive?
No. Considering how sophisticated the technology involved is, the procedure is relatively inexpensive. A routine breast thermogram costs $199, which includes the imaging, a written report sent to the patient, all images included in the report, and the interpretation fee of the physician. The cost is the same for a single region of interest in pain patients (for instance, the lower back or neck). A whole body scan varies in cost, depending upon whether special views are needed or if a scan is being done for legal reasons, where the procedure is a bit different. The cost will range from $566 to $1000.
Will Insurance Cover This Procedure?
There are insurance codes for Thermography, but whether your insurance will cover this or not depends upon your individual policy. While Gainesville Thermography requires payment upon completion of the service, a coded receipt will be provided to you so that you can submit the bill to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Does Breast Thermography replace Mammography?
No. Not all tumors have an increased blood flow and may not be detected by Thermography. However, Thermography can detect many cancers missed by mammography. The two procedures are complimentary to each other.
What About the Qualifications of the People Taking or Interpreting the Images?
All staff at Gainesville Thermography are Certfied Clinical Thermographers (CCT). They are therefor familiar with anatomy and medical conditions. In addition, they have credentials as Certified Clinical Thermographers from ACCT (American College of Clinical Thermology) and are qualified to use the equipment and take images according to proper protocol. Specifically, Dr. Erickson and the Gainesville Thermography Staff have been trained by Peter Leando, Ph.D., who also has trained physicians and staff at Duke University Medical Center in their pain and arthritis clinic. Both Gainesville Thermography and Duke University are using the MediTherm 2000 equipment.
Why Haven’t I Heard About Thermography Before?
Mammography was promoted as the mainstay in breast screening after a poorly constructed study in the 1970′s concluded Thermography should be placed in the “no improvement over mammography” category and that “further study was needed.” With established protocols in place for proper imaging and a multitude of large-scale studies demonstrating the value of thermographic imaging, Thermography is rapidly becoming an important tool in early breast cancer detection and in the evaluation and monitoring of painful conditions.
My Doctor Told Me that Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging was useless – is this true?
Either your physician does not know about this technology or is misinformed and is relying on the flawed data from the 30 year old Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Projects. We would be happy to give your physician up to date referenced information or you can refer him or her to our web site section “For Physicians.”
How Can I Find a Qualified Thermography Center in my Area?
How Long Does a Thermography Scan Take?
A region of interest exam or breast thermography takes about 20 – 30 minutes to perform. An entire body scan takes a minimum of one hour.
Is There Special Preparation for Thermography?
Yes. You will receive a written list of instructions and a history form to complete prior to coming to Gainesville Thermography. In general, you will avoid eating or drinking hot or cold foods/liquids for 2 hours prior to the study. You should not take any medication that may affect your temperature or nervous system, such as pain pills, aspirin, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You also will need to not use body lotions, deodorant sprays, cosmetics on the day of the exam. If you are ill with a fever your study will be postponed. There are other factors that will be discussed with you prior to your scheduled appointment.
Can I See My Pictures and Have a Copy of Them?
Absolutely! You will be shown your images on the computer screen at the end of your study. You will also receive a written report with your images included for your personal use. Please remember, however, that the Clinical Thermographers are not qualified to interpret the images – they only take the scan.