Advanced Laboratory Testing
We offer a full range of testing options from simple strep tests and urinalysis to advanced assessment of cardiovascular risk markers and early detection screening markers for cancer. Of course, we also perform pap tests, screening for HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) which is the major cause of cervical dysplasia, and advanced male and female hormone analysis.
An electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) is a test that measures the electrical signals that control the rhythm of your heartbeat.
The electrical activity of the heart can be detected through the skin by small pads called electrodes. During an electrocardiogram, the electrodes are attached to the skin on the chest, arms, and legs. The electrodes are also connected to a machine that translates the electrical activity into line tracings on paper. These tracings are often analyzed by the machine and then carefully reviewed by your doctor for abnormalities.
An EKG is a quick and painless test. EKG’s can detect if there is insufficient blood flow to areas of the heart, evidence of past heart attack, conduction abnormalities, and heart rate or rhythm abnormalities, and changes caused by previous heart disease. It is often times a good idea to include an EKG in your routine physical to establish a baseline reading of your hearts normal activity. This can prove extremely beneficial later on in detecting changes in the heart’s electrical activity and function that may occur with advancing heart disease.
However, an EKG can not predict cardiac risk or future heart attacks. For this reason, it is also important to have blood tests done to assess cardiac risk. Detecting your cardiac risk early can help you take preventative measures to lower your chances of heart attack.
Doppler ultrasound can measure how well your blood flows through vessels of the neck, legs and arms. This non-invasive test is important for those who have previous cardiovascular risk, diabetes, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), autoimmune condition and/or any other disease process that may cause clotting or vessel damage, which would impede blood flow. The reduced blood flow may indicate and increased risk of stroke or pulmonary embolism.
Lung Function Testing – Spirometry
Spirometry is a basic and frequently performed test to assess pulmonary (lung) function. A device called a spirometer is used to measure how much air the lungs can hold and how well the respiratory system is able to move air into and out of the lungs. Spirometry is used to diagnose lung disorders such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other forms of COPD. The spirometer can measure the progress of the illness as well as the effectiveness of treatment.
The spirometer test is simple and can be quickly performed in our office. As with the EKG, baseline spirometer readings obtained in a routine physical exam can prove useful is assessing lung function down the road if problems arise. Anyone who smokes or is exposed to second hand smoke should certainly include this test to monitor lung changes that can occur with these exposures.
We offer digital x-ray services right in our office. If x-rays are needed to evaluate your injuries there is no need for another appointment or a trip to the hospital to have the x-rays taken. This allows us to get started with your treatments sooner and get you well that much quicker.
We not only offer spinal x-rays, but extremities and even chest x-rays for evaluation of respiratory illnesses. We also take appointments for “acute” situations for falls, and injuries where you feel something may have been broken. If it turns out that a bone has been broken we can help refer you to a specialist to have it cared for. If nothing has been broken you can spare the expense of an emergency room visit. Because x-rays are digital, getting a copy of your films is simple. The x-rays are copied to a compact disc that you can take with you if you wish.
Don’t worry is you have not been to our office before. If you are in need of x-rays to evaluate an injury we can work you in for evaluation in an urgent situation.
How do digital x-rays differ from traditional x-rays?
Digital x-ray is the new generation of x-ray technology. If functions much like a digital camera, recording the x-ray image digitally instead of on traditional x-ray film. A digital x-ray image significantly improves the image quality of the x-ray, allowing for better image interpretation. It allows the doctor to view the x-rays almost instantly, thus avoiding the delay of developing. The images are viewed and read by the doctor on a very high-resolution computer monitor allowing for increased accuracy in diagnosis.
While digital provides excellent spinal and extremity imaging, it also dramatically improves the ability to image the internal organs with a standard x-ray. Thus, the quality of chest and abdomen x-rays taken digitally is increased dramatically. Because the images are digital, they can be enlarged, zoomed in on, and manipulated, just like on a digital camera. This will allow the doctor to examine the x-ray image in much greater detail.
Digital X-ray images can be easily shared with other healthcare providers. The images can either be sent via a secure e-mail or they can be burned onto a cd-rom that can be taken with the patient or mailed to the doctor. Images can also be printed to paper just like a digital photo.