Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ask the Experts: Low Dose CT Scans

As you read in our last Ask The Experts Post, Atlantic Medical Imaging has recently installed ultra low dose CT technology in all of our outpatient imaging facilities that provide CT scans. This new technology ensures that each patient is receiving the least amount of radiation possible.

In this post, we continue the discussion with Dr. Ajay Viswambharan and focus on the use of CT scans and how AMI is able to reduce radiation exposure.

What are some common uses of a CT scan? (Why would a doctor order a CT?)

Some common reasons why a doctor would order a CT scan would be to assess a body part's structure or shape, or diagnose a disease, trauma, or injury. CT scans are also a great alternative to certain types of exploratory or diagnostic surgeries. They can also aid in the planning of surgery or as a visual aid for biopsies and other interventional procedures.

When would a patient have a CT scan versus an MRI?

A physician would determine if a CT or MRI is needed based on what part of the body they want to see, and the reason for the exam.  For example, a CT scan does not show tendons and ligaments as well as an MRI due to the density of the tissue. The spinal cord is best seen with an MRI for the same reason. 
CT scans however, are the preferred method when diagnosing or assessing cancer and tumors, pneumonia, to see the chest and lungs, or to see the sinus cavities. CT scans are also very beneficial to see the internal organs, for trauma patients, and to rule out internal bleeding. 

There is concern about radiation exposure, how does AMI ensure that the CT scanners are low dose?

In addition to software built into all CT scanners that adjusts the radiation dose based on the patients size, all AMI CT scanners are equipped with special software that allows the use of less radiation to generate diagnostic quality images. This software is used on all exams so that all patients will benefit.

Continue to check back for more questions answered by Dr. Viswambharan. 

If you would like a specific question answered, please visit the Ask The Experts page and leave your question in the comment section. We will work hard to ensure your question is answered by one of our radiologists.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

6th Annual Tools for School Drive

The AMI Foundation is launching its 6th Annual "Tools for Schools" Drive, July 28th through August 15th. Donations will be collected in all of the Atlantic Medical Imaging offices, in the designated blue baskets located in the reception area.

Below is a list of NEW school supplies needed:
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Pocket folders
  • Crayons
  • Colored markers
  • Colored pencils
  • Glue Sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Soft pencil cases

The AMI Foundation has purchased back packs to accompany the school supplies.  The back packs will be delivered to elementary schools throughout the area in late August. Over the past 5 years, the AMI Foundation has donated almost 1,300 back packs to children in need!

To learn more about "Tools for School" and what the AMI Foundation is doing to help, head over to our foundation website HERE

Thank you in advance for your continued support!!
Many New Jersey children face the prospect of arriving at their first day of school this September without the most basic of school supplies. In order to address this, the AMI Foundation is launching its 6th Annual “Tools for Schools” supply drive, July 28th through August 15th.  - See more at:
Many New Jersey children face the prospect of arriving at their first day of school this September without the most basic of school supplies. In order to address this, the AMI Foundation is launching its 6th Annual “Tools for Schools” supply drive, July 28th through August 15th. 
“There are many children right here in our own communities who are not properly prepared for their return to school, simply because they lack the basic supplies like pencils and paper,” said Dr. Robert M. Glassberg, President of the AMI Foundation. “We invite the community to join us in donating much-needed school supplies, and thus help provide these children with an equal opportunity at a quality education.” The AMI Foundation has placed blue collection baskets in the reception areas of all nine AMI office locations in Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
The list of requested school supplies includes pencils, erasers, spiral notebooks, pocket folders, crayons, colored markers, colored pencils, glue sticks, highlighters and soft pencil cases. Many of these supplies can be purchased at deep discounts at the area’s large retailers, such as WalMart and Target.
As in years past, the AMI Foundation has also purchased book bags to accompany the school supply donations. Once the drive is complete, the collected supplies and book bags will be delivered to elementary schools throughout the area in late August. To date, the AMI Foundation has donated nearly 1,300 book bags to area school children in need.
- See more at:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

National Night Out

Atlantic Medical Imaging will participate in the National Night Out events that will be held in various communities throughout Atlantic County. National Night Out, "America's Night Out Against Crime", began in 1984 as an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, and neighborhood camaraderie. The National Night Out program is held annually and now involved over 37 million people and 15,000 communities.

AMI will be at the following NNO events:

Tuesday, August 5th:
  • EHT- Canale Park - 5:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Galloway - Galloway Municipal Park- 6:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Mullica Township - Mullica Recreation Complex- 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday, August 8th:
  • Hammonton- Hammonton High School - 6:00pm - 9:00pm 

Join us for a night of family fun! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ask The Experts: Low Dose CT Scans

Atlantic Medical Imaging recently installed low dose CT technology in all of their outpatient imaging facilities that provide CT scans. The new technology reduces the radiation  exposure by up to 75% without compromising the quality of the images. This month's blog will focus on the new low dose CT technology and the benefits to patients and referring physicians.

In this edition of the AMI blog Dr. Ajay Viswambharan, a board certified radiologist at Atlantic Medical Imaging, answers some of the commonly asked questions about CT scans (CAT Scans).

What is a CAT scan?

Computerized tomography (CT), also known as a CAT scan, is a non-invasive, painless medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. CT imaging uses special x-ray equipment to produce multiple images of the inside of the body and a computer to join them together in cross-sectional views of the area being studied.

CT scans of internal organs, bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels provide greater clarity than conventional x-ray exams. Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and interpret CT scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma, and musculoskeletal disorders.

How does a CAT scan work?

In many ways, CT scanning works very much like an x-ray examination. In a conventional x-ray exam, a small burst of radiation is aimed at and passes through the body, recording an image onto photographic film or a special image recording plate. Bones appear white on the x-ray; soft tissue shows up in shades of gray and air appears black. However, unlike conventional x-rays, CT scanning provides very detailed images of many types of tissues as well as bones and blood vessels. 

Advancements in imaging technology now allow new CT scanners to obtain multiple slices in a single rotation. The scanners, called "multi-slice CT" or "multi-detector CT", allow thinner slices to be obtained in a shorter period of time, resulting in more detail, additional view capability, and shorter patient exam time. This is beneficial for all patients but especially children, the elderly and the critically ill.

What should I expect during the exam?

A CT exam usually takes between 10 and 30 minutes depending on the type of exam. Most CT exams are painless, fast and easy. With spiral CT, the amount of time that a patient needs to lie still is reduced. 

The technologists begins the CT exam by positioning you on the exam table. You be will be asked to lay very still and at times hold your breath. Next, the table will move quickly through the scanner to determine the correct starting position for the scans. Then the table will move slowly through the machine as the actual CT scanning is performed. 

You will be alone in the exam room during the CT scan, however, the technologists will be able to see, hear, and speak with you at all times. With pediatric patients, a parent may be allowed in the room but will be required to wear a lead apron to prevent radiation exposure.

Is there any preparation for the CAT scan?

The CT exam may require the use of a contrast material to enhance visibility of certain tissues and blood vessels. The contrast material can be administered via IV (intravenous) or orally. With intravenous contrast material, you will feel a slight pin prick when a needle is inserted into your vein. You may have a warm, flushed sensation during the injection of the contrast materials and a metallic taste in your mouth that lasts for a few minutes. Occasionally, a patients will develop itching and hives, which can be relieved with medications. If you become light-headed or experience difficulty breathing, you should notify the technologist or nurse, as it may indicate a more severe allergic reaction. With oral contrast, you will be asked to drink the contrast agent prior to the exam. 

Continue to check back for more information on low dose CT scans from Dr. Viswambharan. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Now Offering Ultra Low Dose CT Scans

Atlantic Medical Imaging is now offering ultra low dose ct scans, with up to 75% less radiation than standard CT imaging.

AMI is the first radiology practice in the area to provide ultra low dose CT scanning at all of our outpatient facilities that provide CT services. With this new, highly advanced technology, we are able to reduce radiation doses by 50-75%* without compromising image quality.

You can be assured that your imaging will be done with the least possible radiation dose while still maintaining exceptionally high quality imaging. When you or your loved one needs a CT scan, ask for the ultra low dose CT scan at AMI. It’s one more reason why AMI is the region’s leader in medical imaging.

Recently, The Press of Atlantic City published an article featuring Dr. Robert Glassberg, President & CEO of AMI, discussing the new technology. To read the article click HERE.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call (609) 677-XRAY (9729).

*Compared to conventional CT scanners.

Mobile Digital Mammography Van Schedule-July

This past spring, AMI hit the road with the new Dr. Jan Astin Mobile Digital Mammography Van. With funding from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, RNS Cancer & Heart Fund and the AMI Foundation, the Mobile Digital Mammography Van will offer life-saving screening mammograms to women throughout southern and central New Jersey.

For July location and scheduling information, click HERE and remember to check back monthly for updated location information.

Friday, May 2, 2014

New Jersey’s Breast Density Notification Law Goes Into Effect

Women in New Jersey  who have mammograms will also get a letter informing them about breast density due to the new law passed requiring patients to be informed on the topic.

New Jersey is not the first to pass this law, in fact 14 other states are now requiring radiologist to tell their patients that dense breasts can mask tumors. This is sue to the way the tissue appears on a mammogram. Like tumors, dense tissue shows up white on the scan, unlike fat which appears black. Because of this, the law also requires insurance companies to raise coverage for addition screenings such as an ultrasound, breast MRI, and/or a 3D mammogram if the patients mammogram shows dense breast tissue or if they have additional breast cancer risk factors. However, additional testing may be subject to utilization review for medical necessity to determine coverage.