Do you have questions about thermography? If so, this post is 100% for you! We’re glad you’re here!
Questions About Thermography — What is Thermography or Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI)?
Thermography uses a highly sensitive infrared camera to take a thermal image of the body. Thermal imaging involves looking for differences in temperature patterns. This includes changes in symmetry as well as change over time.
Another tool in the proactive health arsenal, thermography is similar in function to lab values indicating a potential disease/health struggle (i.e. diabetes, high cholesterol) before the disease/concern is necessarily symptomatic.
Thermography measures the heat (infrared waves) your body emits. That heat translates into thermal images, which allow us to detect areas of increased temperature.
Areas of increased temperature, or “hot spots,” typically go along with some type of inflammation or tissue abnormality. An existing or potential problem could be occurring in these areas. The body begins to become inflamed even in the early stage of a disease or injury process. This early warning sign informs us to make some changes and eliminate the inflammation.
How Much Does Thermography Cost?
Thermography cost varies from clinic to clinic, but a full list of Insight Thermography of Oklahoma’s prices are available here.
Pricing depends on the type of equipment a clinic uses, as well as the type of scan needed/preferred. At Insight, we use what we believe to be the very best quality thermal imaging technology. We are the only thermography provider in Oklahoma to use this exact technology.
Thermography tends to be a less costly imaging modality than more conventional medical imaging, and your fee includes one on one consultation and review of findings as well as recommendations based on your thermogram interpretation.
Will Insurance Cover Thermography?
At this time, we are unaware of any health insurance agency covering thermography. Coverage does vary from carrier to carrier and plan to plan, so it never hurts to check! However, most insurers consider thermography an out of pocket expense.
If you have an HSA or FSA, we are happy to accept those cards! Additionally, healthshares/medi-shares often include thermography in their coverage. For more info on thermography and insurance, check out this post.
Payment for your thermogram is due at the time of service.
Questions About Thermography — What Can Thermography Detect?
Thermography does not detect or diagnose a specific nameable illness. Instead, thermography detects inflammation and observable changes in the body’s thermal patterns over time.
That inflammation or an increase in inflammation over time can indicate a potential underlying disease or illness.
Thermography detects subtle changes in skin temperature by using an infrared camera in a temperature controlled room. This process provides clues to what is going on beneath the skin’s surface.
Thermography is capable of indicating estrogen dominance and lymphatic congestion– which are both precursors to disease. Thermograms help us monitor our health, not just detect disease.
Thermography is Not Diagnostic
Thermal imaging is not diagnostic. Instead, it is a tool that provides insight into what is going on in your body at a given time, as well as over time.
While thermography is not going to specifically detect or diagnose cancer, cysts, heart disease, MS, or any other specific disease, it will show potential problem areas in the body or concerning changes in inflammation over time.
These areas could warrant further discussion and investigation with your healthcare provider. This in turn could lead to a diagnosis or specific discovery.
Questions About Thermography — Is Thermography a Replacement or Alternative for Other Imaging?
Thermography works as an adjunct imaging process with other imaging options.
No other image option offers the same type of insight thermography can in regards to showing changes before your body is symptomatic.
This makes thermography an excellent addition to preventative health care regimens.
Knowing something is shifting in your body allows you to make proactive changes. These changes can help potentially avoid future health issues.
Thermography is not a replacement or alternative for other forms of medical imaging. However, there are some differences in the experiences worth noting.
Differences Between Thermography and Other Medical Imaging Options (Mammograms, X-Rays, etc.)
Thermography emits zero radiation. This alone makes it different from almost all other forms of medical imaging.
Additionally, at Insight Thermography of Oklahoma, you won’t feel like you are in a cold hospital clinic type of setting.
The imaging area at Insight is completely private. You sit on one side of a partition and our thermographer sits on the other. Your comfort and privacy is one of our top priorities.
No one can see you during the appointment, including your thermographer.
The entire experience is calm and gentle and there is no touching and no radiation. And again, our thermograms are completely private.
Is Thermography Better Than Other Types of Medical Imaging?
All types of medical imaging (ultrasound/mammogram/CT scan/thermogram, etc.) produce images. Some of these options even help in early detection of disease.
Aside from producing images and potentially assisting in early detection of disease, thermography is different than other types of medical imaging.
Since each is a different type of imaging, each can show different things.
While most medical imaging assesses the anatomy/structure of the area of the body being examined, thermography is assessing the physiology of the body.
Thermography notes subtle temperature changes in skin. These subtle changes are potentially associated with underlying health concerns.
Thermography can detect physiological changes associated with disease before anything would show up on another type of scan.
Questions About Thermography — What Should I Expect with Thermography?
Filling Out Your Thermography Paperwork
Prior to your appointment, you will receive an email with a link leading you to some basic paperwork. It’s important to fill this out prior to your appointment so we have an idea of your concerns ahead of time. Filling this out before your arrival also saves a chunk of your time, as we can have most of the information put into our computer system in advance.
This paperwork provides your thermographer with your personal health and family history.
Acclimating During Thermography
You then receive a gown to wear. You’ll be asked to sit and relax while your body acclimates to the comfortable room temperature.
This acclimation time allows your thermal imaging to be most accurate.
As you’re acclimating, your thermographer may ask a few questions if any health history needs clarification. The doctors who interpret your results like to have as many details as possible to give you the most specific interpretation.
Remember, your thermographer at Insight Thermography of Oklahoma will not be able to see you during this time. You will be in a completely private space, separated from your thermographer by a partition.
Having Your Thermal Images Taken
After your body adjusts to the room temperature, your thermographer will have you remove your gown. We then instruct you in how to sit or stand in front of the camera.
Then it’s time to take your images.
Remember, we control the camera remotely and your session is completely private. After your images are completed, we submit them to be interpreted by certified medical doctors known as thermologists.
These doctors interpret the images and make suggestions. You receive your report (including these suggestions) via email. Additionally, we call to follow-up with you and answer any questions you may have.
You can review this report with the thermographers at Insight. You can also follow up with your healthcare provider should that be necessary.
How Long Does a Thermogram Take?
Expect to be at your appointment for at least 30 minutes.
The scan won’t necessarily take that long. Going over paperwork as well as allowing the body to acclimate to the temperature of the room takes a bit of extra time.
Full body scans take longer. Expect to be at those appointments for approximately an hour.
It’s important to note that following your initial thermogram, a second thermogram a few months later is recommended. This follow-up scan is essential for the most accurate picture of your body. This is called establishing your baseline.
Your thermal images are not unlike a fingerprint. Everyone has one, and everyone’s is different.
This “fingerprint” is very stable and typically will only change if something is changing within your body.
By comparing two separate scans, given a few months apart, we determine if your breast/body physiology is stable and if an accurate baseline has been recorded.
Once your specific thermal baseline is identified, annual thermograms help to monitor changes and/or stability.
Who Performs Thermography?
Certified Clinical Thermographers perform every thermogram at Insight Thermography of Oklahoma.
The thermographers at Insight have undergone intensive training to be able to provide the best thermal imaging service available.
Questions About Thermography — Who Reads Thermography?
A Medical Doctor with extensive training and certification as a Thermologist will interpret your thermogram. He or she reads the images and makes follow up suggestions based on what is observed.
Where Do I Go for a Thermogram/Where is Thermography Available?
Insight Thermography of Oklahoma is located at:
Insight also offers thermography at various places within the OKC metro, so do not hesitate to contact Erin and Mandi at Insight (405) 306-6340 if you’d like to set up an appointment or have any questions.