|Dr. Connie Hsu Discusses Vein Treatment on KEYE’s We Are AustinAustin, TX – February 2015
People suffering from painful varicose veins may not be aware that modern treatment is comfortable and highly effective. Dr. Connie Hsu of ARA’s Austin Vein Center appeared on KEYE’s We Are Austin on February 12 to bring awareness to vein treatment and the benefits of having this simple, painless procedure. See the video.
Current or Former Heavy Smoker?
CT Lung Screening Saves Lives.by Dr. Amy Salinas, ARA Radiologist
Austin, TX – November 2014
It’s commonly known that you are at a higher risk for lung cancer if you have smoked heavily during any time in your life. In fact, smoking is believed to cause up to 90% of lung cancer cases – and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. The good news is that CT lung screening for high-risk people can reduce deaths from lung cancer by 20% compared to chest x-ray.
What is CT lung screening?
Computed tomography (CT) lung screening is a simple radiological test done on people that are completely symptom free as a way of finding cancer before there are any indications. CT uses special x-ray equipment and computer software to obtain multiple cross-sectional images of the soft tissues, blood vessels and bones. It can distinguish between normal and diseased tissue based on changes in size, shape and appearance of the tissue. A CT lung screening can detect cancerous lung nodules at an early stage when they are more treatable, increasing survival chances.
The best way to prevent lung cancer is to never smoke or stop smoking now. If you are still smoking, talk to your doctor about ways to help you quit.
Am I a candidate for CT lung screening?
Austin Radiological Association and the American Lung Association recommend CT lung screening if you are:
• a current or former smoker
• and from 55 to 75 years old
• and with a smoking history of at least 30 pack years (this means one pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, etc.)
Together, these factors put you in the highest risk group for lung cancer and screening is recommended for you. However, the risk for lung cancer is different for everyone. If you do not fall into this group, consult with your doctor to see if you might benefit from CT lung screening.
The research behind the recommendation
Results from the National Lung Screening Trial published in 2010 showed a 20% reduction in mortality from lung cancer among participants screened using CT lung screening as compared to those screened with chest x-ray. The NSLT was a randomized national trial of 53,454 current or former heavy smokers who fell into the risk group mentioned above. The group was ethnically representative of the U.S. population.
What is it like getting a CT lung screening?
The CT scanner features a large ring that your body slowly passes through on a movable table. You may hear a series of whirring or spinning sounds as the x-ray tubes and other components move inside the scanner housing. CT lung screening is completely pain free and noninvasive and does not require the use of injectable contrast solution. It takes between 5 and 15 minutes to complete. After the exam is completed you will be able to resume your normal activities.
What do the results mean?
A “suspicious” result means that the CT scan detected something abnormal. Abnormal findings include lung cancer or other serious conditions and also the possibility of a “false positive,” meaning no serious condition is present. You many need to have further diagnostic exams to find out more about the abnormal results. If you do have lung cancer, your doctor and other experts will discuss plans for treatment with you.
A “negative” result means that the scan revealed no abnormalities. This does not guarantee that you do not have lung cancer or that you will not get it. Your doctor will help you determine if and when you should be tested again.
What are the risks?
CT scans do involve exposure to radiation (x-rays). But radiology is advancing rapidly and ARA’s new low-dose CT scanners allow for an up to 60% reduction in radiation dose with improved image quality. Research has consistently shown that potential detrimental outcomes from CT are related to the undiagnosed or underlying medical condition that CT will detect rather than from the minimal radiation exposure of CT. Plus, ARA uses “best practices” for lung cancer screening – your safety is paramount.
Now more than ever, CT lung screening for high-risk people is very much worth it.
ARA’s Advanced CT and MRI Scanners
– Big Steps Forward in Patient Care
Video: Siemens Low-Dose CT Scanners at ARA
Austin, TX – August 2014 – Radiology at Austin Radiological Association is constantly evolving, but occasionally we see developments that we know will make a major impact on patient care. Such is the case with low-dose CT and 3T MRI. Austin Radiological Association is pleased to announce that they have acquired these state-of-the-art technologies and have deployed them in a number of their 16 outpatient clinics.
Low-Dose CT – Accuracy and Safety
Computed tomography (CT) is an amazingly effective scan technology that uses ionizing radiation to get images. ARA’s new low-dose CT scanners by Siemens and General Electric employ new technologies that allow for up to 60% radiation reduction dose while producing images of equal or improved quality. This is a major improvement for CT patients, especially those needing multiple scans. Low-dose CT scans means the lifetime radiation dose accumulated per person can now be dramatically reduced.
This impressive radiation reduction is paired with highly detailed scan quality, enabling exceptional imaging of the inside of the body. The new CT scanners are also faster, allowing for shorter breath holds, which is especially helpful for children and the elderly. Patient-friendly design makes the new CTs more comfortable and automated technology helps CT technologists spend more time with the patient and less time adjusting the scanner.
Dr. Amy Salinas, radiologist at ARA, explains, “ARA decided to go with the low-dose CT scanners because of the benefit to the patient in radiation dose level and the fact that the images look just as good, if not better, than a higher dose scanner.”
ARA CT scan patient Dan F. says, “My concern about it was, having had so many scans, of course, you want to get as little dosage of radiation as possible. So that’s why I was quite pleased with the new device using half the radiation… everybody at ARA has always seemed to have done a very good job. They’ve all been very friendly and careful. They’ve explained anything that I’ve asked them, and then some.”
All of ARA’s CT scanners are now low-dose machines. CT scans are available at most of ARA’s 15 locations.
See a video on what Siemens low-dose MRI means for patients at ARA.
3T MRI – Intricate Detail and Shorter Scan Times
ARA’s new 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners by Siemens have twice the power of earlier machines, resulting in shorter times on the scan table for patients, shorter breath holds and higher resolution images with improved detail. MRI technology uses magnetism, radio waves and a computer to produce images of the body in multiple planes.
3T MRI wrist scan
3T MRI allows for exceptional visualization of smaller anatomical structures, including joints of the hand, wrist, foot and ankle as well as hip and shoulder areas. Another area where 3T MRI shows potentially more sensitivity is in patients with seizure. It also does an outstanding job of imaging the prostate. 3T even makes it possible for some patients with chronic kidney disease to undergo renal MRI without the use of contrast.
Patients will appreciate the 3T MRI experience because they will spend less time in the scanner and will have shorter breath hold periods. Quicker scans mean that patients will move less during imaging, so images are clearer.
Teamed with the specialized knowledge of ARA radiologists and technologists, 3T MRI is a powerful diagnostic tool. New 3T MRI scanners are at ARA’s Medical Park Tower, Wilson Parke and Cedar Park clinics.
EVLT for Varicose Veins at ARA’s Austin Vein Center
– Before & After Patient Pictures & Histories
July 23, 2014
Get a free varicose vein/spider vein treatment screening with ARA. Call 512-453-6100 now!
Find out more about vein treatment at the Austin Vein Center.
April 10, 2014
According to Dr. Connie Hsu, ARA interventional radiologist, Ms. S had left leg swelling and fatigue from varicose veins developed after three pregnancies. She was always busy caring for her family, but finally took the initiative to take care of herself. She came to the Austin Vein Center at ARA and had EVLT and microphlebectomy of the left leg. She became symptom free and was able to look forward to a weekend getaway with her husband because she felt healthy, confident, and sexy.
According to Dr. Connie Hsu, ARA interventional radiologist, Mr. S had varicose veins for 10 years. Three years ago, they became very achy and painful and his legs would be swollen by the end of the work day. His legs often felt heavy and tired. He underwent EVLT, microphlebectomy and sclerotherapy at the Austin Vein Center and now he is able to go through a work day without problems.
Schedule a free EVLT evaluation now! Visit ARA’s Austin Vein Center for more information.
In the News
- BMJ Article on Breast Cancer Screening Effectiveness Incredibly Flawed and Misleading – According to the ACR and Society of Breast Imaging (SBI), the recent breast cancer screening article published in the British Medical Journal is an incredibly misleading analysis based on the deeply flawed and widely discredited Canadian National Breast Screening Study (CNBSS). ACR and SBI say the results of this study, and others resulting from the CNBSS trial, should not be used to create breast cancer screening policy as this would place a great many women at increased risk of dying unnecessarily from breast cancer.
- New Study Refutes 2009 Recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force – A recent study of the association between missed mammograms and breast cancer stage at diagnosis disputes the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation that routine mammograms are unnecessary for women younger than 50 and that biennial screening mammography for women aged 50 to 74 years is sufficient. Dr. Adedayo Onitilo, adjunct clinical associate professor, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, Madison, WI, and the corresponding author of an article about the study in the November 2013 American Journal of Roentgenology, talked with ARRS about those findings. Read the Q&A with Dr. Onitilo here.
- The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended CT Lung Screening for high risk patients ages 55 through 79 years old and have a 30-pack-year or greater history of smoking. Click here to read more about the recommendation. Are you a heavy smoker? With a referral from your physician, you can schedule your exam today at one of our 11 CT Lung Screening locations in Austin and Central Texas by calling 512-453-6100.
- Health care options increase in Four Points – Residents in the Four Points area soon will no longer have to commute to Central Austin to visit their primary care physicians, family practitioners or even specialists. By the end of 2013, a slew of well-known medical groups—Austin Diagnostic Clinic, Austin Radiological Association, Austin Regional Clinic and Texan Urgent Care—will join recently opened VIK Medical Urgent Care and Family Practice as neighborhood health care treatment centers.
- On Sunday, November 25th, 2012, The Austin American-Statesman published its “Top Workplaces 2012” – a list of the best places to work in the greater Austin area. ARA has once again been named to the Top 10 Workplaces list for the 3rd year in a row! Check out this special section of The Austin American-Statesman online here.
- ARA, Dr. Avery and our new MBI (Molecular Breast Imaging) exam showcased on the local news!
- Please join me in welcoming Dr. Robert J. Oberle to ARA! Learn more about him!
- A huge hello and welcome to Dr. Klar, ARA’s newest Neuroradiologist! Learn more about her here.
- Take a minute to say hello and welcome Dr. Daniel G. Bloom to ARA!
- A warm welcome to Dr. Ian Baronofsky, one of ARA’s newest Body Imaging radiologists. Dr. Baronofsky graduated from New York Medical College in 1996. Click here to learn more about him.
- Governor Rick Perry has appointed one of our radiologists, Dr. John R. Leahy, as a new member of the Texas Board of Licensure for Professional Medical Physicists. The board regulates the practice of medical physics in Texas. Click here for the entire article.
- ARA is proud to announce that 25 of our radiologists were named to Austin Monthly’s “Best Doctors” for 2013 list. Please join us in saying “congratulations” to our physicians for this prestigious award. Click here for their full ad and photos.
- Dr. Williamson receives the Most Valuable Physician award at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center for exhibiting the ICARE values of Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence.