Radiology Associates of West Pasco
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Home » Women's Imaging » Mammography
Mammography is the single most effective method for detecting breast cancer in it's earliest stages. The American Cancer Society recommends a baseline study at 35-40 years of age; at 40-49 years of age a study every 1 to 2 years then every year for women over 50 years of age. The three key elements to early detection are a physician exam once a year, monthly self-exam and a mammogram at the recommended intervals.

A mammogram is a special Xray of the breast tissue. It is performed by qualified female personnel on equipment designed specifically for this purpose. We use digital equipment which requires the smallest possible amounts of radiation exposure to produce the highest quality imaging.

A routine mammogram is performed with images of both breasts obtained from two different angles. In order to separate the complex structures in the breast, fairly significant compression must be used. Although this may be uncomfortable, it should not be painful. Communicate with your technologist to let her know how you are feeling. Keep in mind that more compression means a more detailed and accurate study. The final images are viewed on a computer workstation. Questionable areas seen on the routine mammogram are usually benign (not cancer). The question can be resolved in a number of ways. The best way is to compare the current study to a previous mammogram. This is very important and can answer most questions. If we think the questionable area is just a combination of shadows, we can ask for a spot compression, which often separates the tissues and clarifies the region. At times the Radiologist may recommend an ultrasound of the breast to evaluate a nodule. The ultrasound helps to determine if something is a solid mass or a fluid filled mass. Spot compression, magnification and ultrasound recommendations usually require a return visit for completion.

Breast Cyst Aspiration is a simple procedure to remove fluid with mammography or ultrasound guidance.

The site is cleaned, the cyst or nodule is located and a needle is placed into the cyst or nodule, and tissue or fluid is removed.

There is no preparation.

The aspiration site is cleaned with betadyne and topical anesthetic is applied. The radiologist will locate the cyst using mammogram or ultrasound guidance, and then will insert a small needle into the breast. The cyst fluid is drained into a syringe while the radiologist uses the ultrasound or mammographic image to ensure that as much fluid as possible is removed. The fluid will be sent for further laboratory studies. A Band-Aid is applied to the skin after the aspiration and the patient can usually return to her normal activities.

This procedure is performed using ultrasound or mammography to localize a lesion
in the breast that cannot be felt (non-palpable). This is done by placing a thin wire with a hook on the end into, or near, the lesion in question so that the surgeon can easily find it in surgery. The wire is passed through the needle and the needle is removed. The wire is secured to the skin after it is placed. The patient is then sent for surgery.