Date: 10/3/2007

Women’s Diagnostic Center of St. Mary Medical Center offers digital mammogram technology

Women who undergo routine mammograms at St. Mary Medical Center Women’s Diagnostic Center now have the newest diagnostic technology available to them. The Center begins accepting appointments as of 11-01-07 for digital mammograms using a Loradâ Selenia™ digital mammography system from Hologic®. Same day results will continue to remain available for most appointments. This is the second Community Healthcare System hospital to offer the new technology as Community Hospital in Munster began offering digital mammography in August of last year.

For some women, this state-of-the-art technology may offer an advantage 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, may 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 Hobart, 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 visit our web site at To schedule an appointment for a digital mammogram at the Women’s Diagnostic Center, call 947-6436 (Hobart) or 836-4599 (Munster).

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