Hospital gets new digital mammography machine
by The Press and Standard | November 23, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: November 20, 2018 at 10:52 am
Going to the hospital to have your breast squished is not something any woman looks forward to.
But the new digital mammogram at Colleton Medical Center makes that part of the annual mammogram much easier.
“As far as the patient experience, it seems to be a lot more comfort for the patient,” said Angela Maxey, supervisor of breast imaging and the out-patient center at CMC. “The whole design is different. The corners are rounded off on the places where your arms and chest wall go. That’s a huge help for the patients.”
Plus, the amount of compression is limited by the machine, “so you’re not over-compressing the breast,” she said, decreasing discomfort. And the 3D images are much clearer and in-depth than the old unit. “It’s a very nice piece of equipment. Out of everything I’ve worked on, it’s by far the best,” said Maxey, who has been using the new mammogram about a month.
Another advantage is that CMC can now do both routine and diagnostic screenings, and patients get the results the same day. “For all of the diagnostic work, the patients know the results before they leave that day,” Maxey said. For screenings, the hospital calls the patient when the results are in and sends a follow-up letter by mail.
And the whole process takes less time. A routine screening sees a patient in and out, including paperwork, in about 15 minutes. Diagnostics in a worst-case scenario take a little over an hour.
The process is pretty simple. The patient undresses, has her breast squashed, then waits for the radiologist to read the scans. For diagnostics, she knows the results before leaving the hospital.
Another positive is that patients can now just walk in and get a mammogram without doctors’ orders or an appointment. Almost all insurance carriers cover the new 3D procedure.
“So far, I think the patients have been really enjoying it,” Maxey said.