Date: 8/28/2006

Community Hospital Women’s Diagnostic Center Offers Digital Mammogram Technology

MUNSTER - Women who undergo routine mammograms at Community Hospital Women’s Diagnostic Center in Munster now have the latest diagnostic technology available to them. Community Healthcare Systems, with the addition of two Lorad Selenia™ digital mammography systems from Hologic®, is accepting appointments as of 08-11-06 for digital mammograms.

This technology is currently available in only about 8 percent of hospitals nationwide and for some women offers advantages over conventional mammography technology.

“Digital mammography has advantages for some women,” said Dr. Mary Nicholson, fellowship-trained, dedicated breast radiologist and medical director for breast imaging services for Community Healthcare System. “Many women, including women less than 50 years old, those perimenopausal, and those with dense breasts, benefit from digital mammography. For all of these women, screening with digital mammography provides better visualization of the breast tissue, which means better patient care.”

The radiologist can view and manipulate the images on high-resolution computer monitors that enhance visualization of the structures within the breast tissue. They can adjust brightness and contrast and zoom in on specific areas to help detect small calcifications, masses, and other changes that may be signs of early cancer. These maneuvers may eliminate the need for additional imaging and more exposure to radiation.

“Women will notice little difference when going for a digital mammogram,” said Dr. Nicholson. “The procedure is the same as traditional film mammography but less time consuming. Both use x-ray to generate images of the breast. However, instead of using film to capture and record the image, a digital mammogram uses a special detector to capture and convert x-ray energy into a digital image.”

Digital mammography offers a number of other practical advantages and patient conveniences. Because digital mammography does not use film, nothing needs to be developed, saving time. At the Women’s Diagnostic Center in Munster, Monday through Friday and one Saturday each month, a radiologist reviews the images while the patient waits. This unique service allows for additional images or procedures such as a breast ultrasound to be performed the same day, preventing the need for a return visit.

Digital images are easily stored and transferred electronically, eliminating the dependency on one set of original films, which can be misfiled or lost in transit. Hard copies can always be produced if necessary.

For more information or to make an appointment for a digital mammogram at Community Hospital Women’s Diagnostic Center in the Community Diagnostic building, call 219-836-4599.

# # #