Guelph General Hospital’s newest mammogram machine can create 3D images of a breast and any possible abnormality found, but it was also created with features designed to make patients more comfortable.
The new $850,000 machine replaces an over 10-year-old device that was previously used at the hospital.
"I think the community gains immensely from a machine like this, especially when you consider all the benefits it has," said Dr. Malek Meshki, Radiologist and head of women's imaging at GGH.
Possible earlier diagnosis is possible with new machine because of increased ability to view smaller lumps or shadows and significantly reduces the number of ‘false positive’ results, said a news release from GGH.
The 3D imaging can also assist in a better patient experience should a biopsy be necessary, said the release.
“A biopsy needle can be just a millimeter off and miss getting a sample,” Dr Meshki explains. “3D images help ensure the needle is inserted in the correct location and is moved to the exact depth needed to get a proper sample.”
Softer features of the new machine are designed to create a less anxious experience for patients.
“Some of the most anxious people coming to the hospital are those coming for a breast scan,” said Karen Landoni, GGH’s long-time Tech Lead in mammography. “The more we can get them to relax the better image we can get.”
Lighting can change colour, depending on the patient’s preference, for example.
Funding for the new machine came from donors, including those in The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital’s “Circle of Life” group.
Every year, Circle of Life members decide on a project to support from a list of three hospital priorities.
“Circle of Life members play a critical role in driving and sustaining Guelph General Hospital’s patient care initiatives and innovations into the future,” said Suzanne Bone, CEO of The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital.