ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Mammograms can be stressful, and having to schedule another because something was unclear in the xray can produce quite a bit of anxiety. The Abilene Regional Medical Center has a new tool that should help get more accurate results the first time and reduce those callbacks.
A new three-dimensonal mammography system allows doctors to get a more complete view of breast tissue, and see what the traditional 2D images can’t show.
This new system is essentially the same as the traditional process, but with an added step. Mammography Supervisor Melissa Yarborough explains: “With this technology we’re going through the breast at one millimeter slices and then recreating an image from those slices.”
Medical Director of radiology Michael Montgomery says that these cross sections help to find cancer, because, “Whenever you can look at intervals through the breast, you’re more likely to pick up those little bitty lesions.”
Being able to examine each interval can help to see things that are hidden in a standard flat image. Dr. Montgomery says that’s because, “whenever you’re dealing with dense breast tissue, you have a lot of overlying breast tissue.”
To further explain how this process gets more detail, Yarborough gives an example. “It’s like a loaf of bread. If it’s a whole loaf, you want to cut through the slices to see what’s inside the bread.”
Yarborough goes on to say that with xray imaging, that can be done “without even taking the bread out of the bag.”
The machine has been in use for roughly a week, and has been working alongside the traditional 2D system to help women keep on top of their health.
Dr. Montgomery says that patients won’t experience any difference between the two systems, and the entire process is only a few seconds longer with the 3D system.