Dr. Shaheen Hussaini discusses ARA’s pediatric imaging services


Anchor: It’s a situation that no parent wants to face but when a child needs medical imaging, it’s really good to know there is a team of specialists ready to give your kids the best care. I’m joined this morning by Dr. Shaheen Hussaini from ARA Diagnostic Imaging, who is going to tell us a little bit about your very specialized center at Dell Children’s Hospital. This is really important because kiddos do need a different kind of treatment.

Doctor: That’s right. So, we have pediatric radiologists that are specialty trained in pediatric radiology. We have technologists that have been there for a really long time, have trained really hard. We have sonographers that took additional qualification exams, so that they can be registered pediatric sonographers. So, we have a really good team at Children’s Imaging Center to make the family feel welcome and do a really good exam.

Anchor: That’s really important to know especially because it is the kids that are going through this. Of course, the parents are there too, and that probably gives them some very great peace of mind. Psychologically, are there ways that kids need to be treated a little differently?

Doctor: Yes. Psychologically, the children want to know what is going to happen to them. So, we have this toy MRI machine in the waiting area so the kid can say “Oh well, I did an MRI of the teddy bear…

Anchor: Oh wow!

Doctor: “So, now I am prepared to get an MRI of ourselves.” Younger kids who are just getting a sonogram can look at art that is really colorful in the rooms, so that they can just focus on the art. There are TV shows going on at the same time. The sonographers have bubble machines, so the parents can make bubbles while the pictures are being taken.

Anchor: Oh, that’s great.

Doctor: So, the kid is calm and relaxed. The parent is calm and relaxed. Now we can do our jobs really efficiently and quickly so we can get really beautiful pictures. We have all these different rooms with different art in there. But really, most of all, it’s our technologists that make it all come together and make it a really wonderful experience for the family.

Anchor: That’s important to know especially when you are considering that maybe the kids are scared or maybe they’re nervous. This really helps the kid, but it also helps you get the best results, right?

Doctor: That’s right! That’s one of our techs in our MR scanner where there are monkeys and dogs and things that are compatible with a MR scanner. So, we can’t put everything in there but we can put stuffed animals in there.

Anchor: That is great, it’s good to know. So, really specifically, how are kids different than adults when does come to imaging?

Doctor: Right. So, kids are actually very sensitive to radiation.

Anchor: I see.

Doctor: It’s not a one size fit all type of exam. So, you have to make sure that the dosage is tailored to the size of the child.

Anchor: OK.

Doctor: Then, if we can do an ultrasound or an MR, we do that instead of a CT. Now, you know, CT is lifesaving.

Anchor: Sure.

Doctor: And it is very important in certain situations and way better than anything else but when we can we like to do ultrasounds, MRIs – do smaller imaging fields, you know, tailor it to the child.

Anchor: Yeah.

Doctor: So, they get less radiation doses.

Anchor: That’s really important to know that you are that thoughtful when you are approaching these cases. I think that is very, very special. Are there some cases that you can talk about for us that are particular to children’s imaging?

Doctor: Right. So, we follow the Image Gently protocol which is prescribed by ACR (American College of Radiology) and Society of Pediatric Radiology to make sure that we are doing the correct exam. This is a sonogram or what a child getting a sonogram would look like. And our sonographers, like we said, are registered in pediatric sonography. This is a normal pylorus.

Anchor: OK.

Doctor: So, this is the stomach, that’s the small bowel and that’s the muscle that we are looking at. So, we look at that muscle to see if a child that is vomiting a lot and is not gaining weight – why is it that is happening? So, one of the reasons is that this muscle becomes really thick and they need surgery to help things pass through.

Anchor: Oh wow.

Doctor: This is another picture of the same exact image. So, we tell the surgeons, “Hey, this needs surgery,” or, “Hey, no this is not the problem. Let’s keep looking and figure out why this kid is vomiting so much.”

Anchor: Oh wow, that is very, very special.

Doctor: Yeah.

Anchor: And this is an important…I can’t get over these sweet little…

Doctor: These thighs!

Anchor: These little fat thighs… And it’s important. This is what is happening here for this child, nice and gentle.

Doctor: Right, right. So, this is when babies come in and we’re worried that their hips did form correctly because of the way they were sitting in the womb in the mother. So, they come in and most of them are normal. This hip ultrasound is normal but it’s a great way of figuring out—do they see a pediatric orthopedist or are they good to go and their hips are normal. Most of the time they are, and we, the pediatric radiologists, actually goes into the room and we tell the parents the results most of the time. Then, the parents can go out happy and they are like “Oh, we got the results!”

Anchor: Yes, I love that, that’s great! So, the parents can go out happy, they can come in rest assured that their kids are going to be taken care of by a specialist. Well I think it’s so important. If our friends at home do want to know a little more about ARA to schedule if their child needs some imaging, where do we go?

Doctor: We go to ausrad.com

Anchor: Excellent. That’s perfect! Seventeen locations in central Texas. Guys, there’s got to be one close to you. You can head to ausrad.com or give them a call because I’m sure there will be a friendly voice on the other side of the phone. This is probably a very scary situation at times for parents and kids. It’s great to know you have a team of specialists at ARA to really make it go well.

Doctor: We love them.

Anchor: That’s great. Well, thank you so much for being here. We appreciate it, doctor.

Doctor: Thank you for having me.

Anchor: You have a great day. Alrighty, coming up on…

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