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Making Mammograms More Comfortable And More Precise

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Making Mammograms More Comfortable And More Precise


Ask any woman over 40 and she will likely tell you that mammograms are necessary, but not much fun. There is anxiety about potentially finding a problem, and then there is the compression required to get the most precise images of the breast tissue.

“We understand that having a mammogram can feel uncomfortable”, says Tia Knapp, mammography technologist at Campbell County Health. “All of our mammography technologists are focused on making the experience as welcoming as possible.”

This includes a private waiting area with soft lighting and music, and a warm robe to wear before and during the exam. Good communication is key, and CCH’s mammography technologists take the time to explain to each patient how they will position them during the exam to get high quality images for the physician to evaluate.

Equipment and technology can also improve both the patient experience and the quality of the images. CCH uses mammography equipment called Mammomat Inspiration, from Siemens Healthineers. The flexible height adjustment and soft edge compression paddles reduce the pressure on the muscles, so the breast compression is gentler. As soon as the paddle meets resistance, the compression slows down automatically and adjusts pressure to the breast, resulting in the best possible image while avoiding unnecessary pressure.

The Mammomat equipment moves around the patient to take projections in a range of 50 degrees. As a result, the 3D images are sharper and more detailed, allowing the radiologist to see more than was possible using 2D mammography. With 3D mammography, the breast is scanned into multiple layers and the radiologists can examine the tissue one thin layer at a time. Mammomat Inspiration with PRIME technology also results in up to 30% less radiation dose without compromising image quality. 

CCH’s Radiology department is the only imaging center in the community with Mammomat technology, and provides both 3D and 2D digital mammography. Mammography screening entails examining healthy women, so keeping dose as low as possible is extremely important. At the same time, high image quality is the key to detecting the smallest detail. CCH suggests using 3D mammography as a first exam, and once breast density has been determined, you and your provider should discuss future options between standard 2D and 3D mammography.

Mammography services are accredited by the American College of Radiology, representing the highest level of image quality and patient safety. CCH provides a full range of radiology/diagnostic imaging services, including CT, MRI, mammography, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and x-ray for both inpatients and outpatients.

Learn more about digital mammography services at
  • Category: Radiology