Banner Lassen Public Relations Specialist
Banner Lassen Medical Center Radiology Department is now servicing patients with its new digital mammography system, a Selenia Dimensions 2D Full-Field Digital Mammography System. This new system constitutes the latest available diagnostic technology for increasing the early detection of breast cancer.
“Banner Lassen Medical Center now has the best of the best in early detection equipment,” said Eben Hatch, new Imaging Manager at Banner Lassen Medical Center. “As a department and a hospital, we are excited about the roll-out of this new advanced system and we believe this will greatly enhance our mission for early detection of breast cancer,” he said.
With digital mammography, low energy x-rays pass through the breast exactly like conventional mammograms but are recorded by means of an electronic digital detector instead of film. This electronic image can be displayed on a video monitor like a TV or printed onto film and CD. Radiologists are then able to manipulate the digital image electronically to magnify an area, change contrast, or alter the brightness.
Like conventional mammography, the digital system uses X-rays to capture top-to-bottom and side-to-side images of each breast, but new technology allows the system to use a lower dose of radiation For women undergoing diagnostic mammograms, which involve additional X-rays of areas of concern revealed by a screening mammogram, the new digital mammography system provides immediate results. It also enables staff members to provide more personalized care that can reduce a patient’s stress and anxiety.
Patients undergoing digital mammographic examinations will see few differences during the examination itself, but they will see images produced in seconds resulting shorter exam times. During the test a small TV monitor will allow the mammographic technologist to view the mammogram in several seconds instead of developing films and waiting ten minutes to see an image.
Breast compression, unfortunately, is still required to produce optimal images at the lowest possible radiation dose. However, the call-back rate (the number of women who need to return for additional diagnostic mammograms after a screening mammogram) will decline because of the new technology.
Also, since digital images are available within seconds of exposure, interventional procedures such as needle localizations requiring x-ray guidance performed on digital machines are much faster for the patient. The time the breast is in compression is also shorter.
“We are thrilled with this new technology and with the advantages it will give our patients,” said Terri Bortel, Interim Imaging Manager for Banner Lassen Medical Center. Bortle was involved in the training the staff and inspections of the device prior to the roll-out. “We know it will enhance the patient experience here at Banner Lassen, and help women identify breast cancer at the earliest possible stage,”she said.
The system also can be configured for three-dimensional digital breast imaging when and if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the 3D technology, known as digital tomosynthesis.
“Once the 3D system is approved by the FDA, Banner Lassen will be ready for the upgrade, making us comparable to any other diagnostic service in the area,” said Hatch.
For more information on the hospital’s new Selenia Dimensions 2D Full-Field Digital Mammography System, please call Banner Lassen Medical Imaging Department at 530-252-2121.