Cambridge & Huntingdon Breast Screening Service recently replaced analogue mammography units with state-of-the-art digital mammography. The Service purchased two Philips MicroDose L30 full field digital mammography systems installed on mobile trailers.
Barbara Knighton, Superintendent Radiographer commenting on the new units says, “The design of the equipment and the workflow make the examination a very calm procedure and this transmits to the patient to provide a calmer and more pleasant experience.” Barbara goes on, “With the installation of the MicroDose equipment, women with breast implants are now imaged on the mobile trailers. This has increased the flexibility of the Service as women with these implants are now able to have their screening locally.”
One of the two mobile trailers has wheelchair lift enabling disabled and physically impaired women to be screened locally on a mobile van. In addition, the MicroDose equipment allows for immediate image viewing, ensuring that patients have been fully imaged before leaving the unit.
Philips is revolutionising mammography by providing a more comfortable, relaxed and faster mammogram experience, with lower radiation exposure. MicroDose offers the ability to deliver high-quality breast images at a significant reduction in dose as compared to other Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM) systems, with no compromise on image quality. MicroDose uses X-ray photon-counting technology. Similar to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting which uses less wattage than traditional incandescent bulbs, but nevertheless provides high light output, Philips’ MicroDose patented photon-counting detector utilises less radiation, while delivering excellent image quality. In addition, MicroDose Smart AEC continuously adjusts radiation exposure depending on the density of the breast. This provides a totally automated correct exposure without the need for pre-exposures, AEC adjustment or specific positioning.
MicroDose is designed to offer a less stressful mammography experience by providing a curved breast support and a comfortably warm positioning surface. The ergonomic operation makes it easy to focus on the patient and the exam, including image acquisition, takes less than five minutes, offering speed, convenience and improved throughput and productivity.
Barbara continues, “The equipment is visually attractive to the patients making it look less daunting and scary. We also like the ergonomics, particularly the option of the footswitch for exposure and the choice of mouse or key pad for workflow and we have found the worklist very easy to use.”
With a field of view 24x26 cm and automatic detection of breast position during the scan, there is no need to routinely change or ‘shift’ the compression paddle during the examination. A small compression paddle is provided with the Philips Microdose for positioning and compression of very small breasts, allowing more space for the mammographer’s hand. This paddle and its design were particularly appreciated by Barbara and her team at Cambridge.