Athens Radiology Associates offer the full complement of state of the art breast imaging procedures. We have two dedicated breast imagers with a passion for excellent and compassionate care supported by a caring team of nurses and technologists.
3D-Mammography (Digital Breast Tomosynthesis)
Digital breast tomosynthesis (tomo), also known as 3D mammography, is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic breast imaging tool to improve the early detection of breast cancer. During the 3D part of the exam, an x‐ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds. Images are displayed as a series of thin slices that can be viewed by our radiologists as individual images or in a dynamic interactive animation. Approved as an imaging modality by the FDA in early 2011, 3D mammography is used in combination with 2D digital mammography.
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Computer Aided Detection (CAD)
CAD systems use a digitized mammographic image that can be obtained from either a conventional film mammogram or a digitally acquired mammogram. The computer software then searches for abnormal areas of density, mass, or calcification that may indicate the presence of cancer. The CAD system highlights these areas on the images, alerting the radiologist to the need for further analysis.
Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Ultrasound imaging of the breast uses high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the internal structures of the breast.
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
Lumps or abnormalities in the breast are often detected by physical examination, mammography, or other imaging studies. However, it is not always possible to tell from these imaging tests whether a growth is benign or cancerous. A breast biopsy is performed to remove some cells—surgically or through a less invasive procedure involving a hollow needle—from a suspicious area in the breast and examine them under a microscope to determine a diagnosis. A special mammography machine uses ionizing radiation to help guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of the abnormal growth.
Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy
Lumps or abnormalities in the breast are often detected by physical examination, mammography, or other imaging studies. However, it is not always possible to tell from these imaging tests whether a growth is benign or cancerous. A breast biopsy is performed to remove some cells—surgically or through a less invasive procedure involving a hollow needle—from a suspicious area in the breast and examine them under a microscope to determine a diagnosis. In ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, ultrasound imaging is used to help guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of the abnormal growth.
Ultrasound Guided Vacuum Assisted Fibroadenoma Removal
Ultrasound is used to guide a device through the skin to a fibroadenoma within the breast. The fibroadenoma is removed through the device in small pieces with vacuum assistance. This technique avoids the cost, general anesthesia and scarring associated with surgical removal.
An x-ray examination that uses mammography, a low-dose x-ray system for examining breasts, and a contrast material to obtain pictures of the inside of the breast’s milk ducts. This technique is useful for evaluating breast discharge.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, printed or copied to CD.
MRI of the breast can be used to screen women at high risk for for breast cancer. In the screening setting it is used in conjunction with screening mammography. It is not a replacement for mammography.
MRI of the breast can be used as a tool for pre-surgical evaluation of patients with known breast cancer, and as a problem-solving tool when mammography and ultrasound do yield clear answers.
ARA’s physicians are experienced in the interpretation of breast MRI, and use state of the art equipment to deliver high quality images. Breast MRIs are analyzed by the radiologist with a DynaCAD workstation to add diagnostic accuracy.
MRI guided breast biopsy
When an abnormality in the breast that needs biopsy is not visible with mammography or ultrasound, a biopsy can be performed with MRI guidance. ARA has state of the art tools for MRI guided breast biopsy.
Breast Needle Localizations
Ultrasound or mammography is used as a guide to put a wire through an abnormality in the breast. The patient is then taken to surgery and the surgeon uses this wire to locate and remove the abnormality.
Ultrasound Guided Cyst Aspiration
A small needle is placed into a cyst in the breast using ultrasound as a guide. The fluid from the cyst is withdrawn through the needle. This technique is used primarily for relief of symptoms is a woman has a bothersome breast cyst. It may also be used to verify that a mass in the breast is indeed a cyst, and not a solid mass. Sometimes a cyst with debris inside it can look solid.
Consultations for review of outside exams
ARA’s radiologists can review studies you have had done elsewhere and give a second opinion.