The Sound of Health: Thyroid Ultrasounds

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For many, seeing is believing, and this 10 to 15 minute thyroid exam sees what is otherwise hidden and can measure and detect issues that do not reveal themselves anywhere else. Lab work can indicate key thyroid related hormone levels, such as T4, T3, Reverse T3, Free T4 and Free T3, but do not indicate the size or health of the thyroid.  Likewise, tissue changes in the thyroid such as cysts and nodules may not cause any symptoms and even when a doctor palpates, or feels the thyroid, they may not be detected.  Technology has come a far way indeed, the ultrasound can measure anatomy in millimeters, even our doctors think that’s impressive.

There’s more good news, the test is non-invasive, there’s no needle prick (but our phlebotomist Bianca is quite good) and no arm thump.  There is no need to fast, no special medicine before or after and can be done with or without an appointment any time we’re here, although appointments are available.

At HMG we believe in early detection, rapid and effective treatment and helping patients be their healthiest. For these reasons, ultrasound exam results are shared almost immediately while the official report is reviewed during the next doctor’s appointment. Although not often, sometimes thyroid issues should be addressed much sooner than 3 weeks, 3 months, or 6 months.  We take your health seriously and understand that timeliness is a key component of staying healthy.

In addition to thyroid scans, we’re doing our best to combat vascular and cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death nearly worldwide.  Our part includes providing vascular ultrasound exams.  This 15 minute scan includes examining key arteries in the neck, abdomen and legs for plaque, that dastardly artery clogging substance.  Much like changes in the thyroid, plaque builds without any signs or symptoms, accordingly, it is accurately called the silent killer.

Surprisingly, common risk factors like weight, total cholesterol, smoking, drinking and exercise, may not accurately predict the presence or absence of plaque.  We’ve seen high risk patients with no plaque and low risk patients with plaque.  As a result, HMG recommends that all patients over 45 and any patients with elevated risk factors receive a vascular scan, after all, 20 minutes here may mean a healthier lifetime.

So then, the sound of health?  It begins with the peace and quiet of an ultrasound exam.