PRE-IMAGING INSTRUCTION FOR PATIENTS

PRE-IMAGING PREPARATION - to consider when you book your appointment

  • The phase of the patient's menstrual cycle at the time of the thermography examination is of particular importance. Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle produce changes in the thermal characteristics of the breasts, which can result in serious errors. Examinations performed during these times should be rejected as unsuitable for interpretation.

  • Estrogen dilates blood vessels, so the patient's estrogen level can have a profound affect on the thermal visualization of the breast's underlying vascularity, resulting in misleading examination data. Estrogen level is significantly elevated during the week following menstruation, i.e., the follicular period; consequently, the examination should not be performed during days 7 through 14 of the patient's menstrual cycle. The ideal time period is from ovulation to the onset of menstruation.

  • Illnesses, with or without temperature elevation, may alter the normal thermal characteristics of the breasts; thus, patients suffering from colds, influenza, etc. should not be scheduled for an examination.

 

48-hours prior to your imaging:

  • Alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea or soft drinks containing caffeine should not be consumed for 12 hours prior to the test. Hot or cold beverages should be avoided for at least 1 full hour before an examination is performed.

  • If possible, aspirin, pain medications, vasodilators/constrictors and/or other similar medications should be avoided for 24 hours prior to the test.

  • Cigarettes should not be smoked for 2 hours prior to the examination.

  • The examination should not be scheduled within 2 weeks after the patient has been subjected to sunburn. Lotions or ointments should not be applied to the breasts for 24 hours prior to the test.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR APPOINTMENT:

When you arrive for your examination, you are asked to disrobe from the waist up and assume the position appropriate to the cooling method being utilized, and undergo equilibration (cooling). Following the cooling procedure, the thermogram should be recorded in accordance with instructions and training.

Static and Fan cooling are two methods used in the cooling of patients. Fan cooling should be avoided in favor of the more acceptable static cooling, as fan cooling has increased potential for both asymmetrical cooling over-cooling.

 

  • 1. Static Cooling: The patient disrobes from the waist up with her hands placed slightly above her hips and with the arms held away from the body. This position is maintained for ten minutes minimum with the patient either standing, or seated on a stool. Cooling for less than ten minutes invalidates the examination.

 

  • 2. Fan Cooling: The patient disrobes from the waist up, stands five to six feet from a slowly rotating 20" area fan, and is then positioned such that the air-flow from the fan is directed at the sternum. The air flow direction is important to avoid asymmetric cooling. Cooling time using this method should be approximately two minutes; at, or before this time, the nipples usually become erect. Note that asymmetrical cooling yields thermal asymmetry, while over-cooling causes unstable thermal patterns on the breasts.

 

It is extremely important that the breasts are not touched during the cooling period by either the patient or examiner.