FMH is the first healthcare provider in Frederick County to offer digital
mammography with the addition of thre Lorad® SeleniaTM digital mammography systems.
"Digital mammography definitely has advantages for the patient,"
said radiologist Dr. Greg Lavanier. "Many women including young woman
and those choosing hormone replacement therapy have dense breasts. For
them, screening with digital mammography provides better visualization
of the breast tissue, which translates into 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 also 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, which may alleviate the need for additional
imaging and more exposure to radiation.
"Women will notice little difference when going for a digital mammogram,"
said Dr. Lavanier. "The procedure is the same as traditional film
mammography, but less time consuming. Both use x-rays 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 is filmless, nothing has to
be developed - saving time. At FMH Rose Hill and
FMH Crestwood, Monday through Friday, 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, greatly reducing
the need for a return visit.
To supplement this technology, FMH has incorporated digital Computer-Aided
Detection (CAD). Digital CAD highlights characteristics commonly associated
with breast cancer. When activated, it flags abnormalities to help the
radiologist detect early breast cancer. CAD is, in essence, a second set
of eyes to support and enhance the radiologist's judgment.
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. Of course, hard copies can always be produced if needed.