What is Thermography or Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI)?
Thermography uses a highly sensitive infrared camera to take a thermal image of the body. Thermography involves looking for differences in temperature patterns– variance in symmetry as well as change over time.
Thermography is another tool in the proactive health arsenal, 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 and translates that heat into thermal images. Through these thermal images, areas of increased temperature can be detected.
Areas of increased temperature, or “hot spots,” typically correlate with some type of inflammation or tissue abnormality. An existing or potential problem could be occurring in these areas. The body begins to get “hot” even in the early stage of a disease or injury process, an early warning sign to make some changes and eliminate the inflammation.
- See Also: Thermography 101
How Much Does Thermography Cost?
Thermography cost will vary from clinic to clinic, but a full list of Insight Thermography of Oklahoma’s prices are available towards the bottom of the screen here.
Pricing varies depending on the type of equipment a clinic uses, as well as the type of scan needed/preferred.
Keep in mind that top quality thermal images require time and are performed by highly trained personnel.
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?
Thermography is not covered by health insurance usually. Coverage does vary from carrier to carrier and plan to plan, so it never hurts to check, but most insurers consider thermography an out of pocket expense.
If you have an HSA, many of those do accept thermography charges.
Payment for your thermogram is due at the time of service.
What Can Thermography Detect?
Thermography is not going to detect or diagnose a specific nameable illness. Thermography by definition is able to detect inflammation and change in inflammation in the body over time.
That inflammation or an increase in inflammation over time can indicate a potential underlying disease or illness.
Thermography simply detects subtle changes in skin temperature, by using an infrared camera in a temperature controlled room. This process can provide 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. Thermography helps us monitor our health, not just detect disease.
Thermography is not diagnostic. Thermography is a tool to give you insight into what is going on in your body at a given time and also over time.
So while thermography is not going to specifically detect or diagnose cancer, cysts, heart disease, MS, or any other specific illness/disease, thermography will show any 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, which could lead to a diagnosis or specific discovery.
Is Thermography a Replacement or Alternative for Other Imaging?
Thermography works as an adjunct imaging process with other imaging options.
No other image medium can offer the same type of insight thermography can in regards to showing changes before your body is symptomatic.
This makes thermography an excellent addition to your preventative health care regimens.
Knowing something is shifting in your body allows you to make proactive changes to potentially circumnavigate future health issues, or find those issues earlier than you would have with only using routine scans.
While thermography is not a replacement or alternative for other forms of medical imaging, there are some differences in the experiences.
Thermography emits zero radiation, which 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 a completely private room– partitioned away from the thermographer, so your privacy is highly respected.
No one can see you during the appointment– not even the person taking your picture!
The entire experience is calm and gentle and there is no touching, no radiation, and again– no one can see you.
Is Thermography Better Than Other Types of Medical Imaging?
All types of medical imaging (ultrasound/mammogram/CT scan/thermogram, etc.) produce images, and some can help in early detection of disease.
But aside from producing images and potentially assisting in early detection of disease, thermography has nothing else in common with any of these other types of medical imaging.
Since each is a different type of imaging, each can show different things.
Most medical imaging is assessing the anatomy/structure of the body or the area of the body being examined.
Thermography is assessing the physiology of the body.
Thermography notes the subtle temperature changes in skin that could be associated with underlying health concerns.
Thermography can detect physiological changes associated with disease before anything would show up on another type of scan.
What Should I Expect with Thermography?
When you arrive for your appointment, or prior to your appointment, you will fill out some basic paperwork.
This paperwork will provide your thermographer with your personal health and family history.
You’ll then be given a gown to wear and will be able to sit and relax while your body acclimates to the comfortable room temperature.
This 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.
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/wall.
After your body has adjusted to the room temperature, your thermographer will instruct you in how to sit or stand in front of the camera as your images are taken.
The gown must be removed for imaging, because the skin temperature is what is being monitored– the skin must be visible.
Again, the camera is controlled remotely, so your privacy is completely respected.
After your images are completed and you have left your appointment, your images are submitted to certified medical doctors known as thermologists.
These doctors will interpret the images and make suggestions and you will be given this report.
You can review this report with the thermographers at Insight, and follow up with your healthcare provider should that be necessary.
Expect to be at your appointment for at least 30 minutes.
The scan won’t necessarily take that long, but 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, so expect to be at those appointments for approximately an hour.
Before it can be known for certain that any changes are taking place in a certain area of the body, you will need to establish what is known as a baseline.
Your initial thermogram will be followed up with a second thermogram a few months later, which is essential in developing a picture of this baseline thermal image.
Think of this like 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/studies, given a few months apart, it can be determined if your breast/body physiology is stable and if an accurate baseline has been recorded.
Once your specific thermal baseline is identified, yearly thermograms help to monitor if there is any change in your unique baseline image.
Who Performs Thermography?
Thermography is performed by certified Clinical Thermographers.
The thermographers at Insight have undergone intensive training to be able to provide the best thermal imaging service available.
Who Reads Thermography?
A Medical Doctor with extensive training and certification as a Thermologist will interpret your thermogram. He or she will read the images and make 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.