Digital Mammograms play a critical role in the early screening and diagnosing of breast diseases because mammograms have the ability to show changes in breast tissue prior to a patient or physician’s ability to feel them. Our state of the art digital mammography equipment allows physicians to view images in real time and examine the breast in greater detail. Digital mammograms have been shown to be more accurate at detecting tumors than older analog technology.
We offer a 15-minute screening mammogram service with little or no wait time. Our imaging services are performed in the Health Care and Surgery Center, next to the hospital. Two films are done on each breast – a view from the top and one from the side. The breast is compressed by a paddle to reduce movement, minimize blurring and reduce the amount of x-rays. A radiologist will read the films and prepare a report for the patient's physician and the patient will receive a letter with the results. If we need to review results, a doctor will call the patient. Women should have a screening mammogram at age 35 to provide a baseline and then every year beginning at age 40.
If a screening mammogram detects an abnormality, the patient is usually called back for a diagnostic mammogram to take additional films that magnify the area or spot in question. Patients may also have a diagnostic mammogram to monitor an abnormality seen on a prior mammogram or if they have breast implants, which need to be "pushed back" to obtain an adequate film. Patients experiencing symptoms such as pain, discharge from the nipple or a lump may also need a diagnostic mammogram. The radiologist immediately reads the film and the results are reviewed with the patient.
June Reynolds and Faye Dixon
A breast ultrasound is usually a follow-up to a mammogram when the radiologist detects an abnormality or when a lump is felt in the breast. Approximately 5-15 percent of women are called back for additional imaging and most of the time, the findings are benign. A transducer runs over the breast area, sending and receiving sound waves to form a picture on the screen. A radiologist reviews the images and the results are discussed with the patient.
Needle Localization by Mammography
This type of mammogram is for areas of the breast that are difficult to locate by feel or abnormal areas found during a diagnostic mammography. Under local anesthesia, a needle is inserted in the area to be examined. A fine wire is inserted through the needle so that it catches in the breast tissue. The needle is removed and the wire is left in place. A surgeon then removes tissue for imaging by radiology. The procedure may leave a small scar and the patient may have to limit activities for several days until the area heals.
The HCGH/JHM Breast Center currently participates with the following insurance carriers:
Aetna PPO products (Elect, Managed and Open Choice)
OneNet (formerly Alliance PPO, part of United HealthCare)
Americhoice MCO (now called United Healthcare Community Plan)
Carefirst BCBS POS
InforMed - Frederick Health Plan
Please note: The HCGH/JHM Breast Center does not accept all insurance plans, including one available to some HCGH employees. Please call to check if your plan is accepted.
To schedule an appointment, please call 410-720-8130.