What is Breast Imaging?
Breast imaging is also known as breast radiology. At Stamford Health's Breast Center, we take images of the breast to look for any abnormalities that may indicate breast disease or breast cancer. There are several different methods involved in breast imaging. Your doctor will help determine which one is right for you based on your unique breast health needs.
A 3D digital mammogram, also known as tomosynthesis, is faster and uses less radiation than a standard film mammogram. The images, similar to "slices" of the breast, are seen on a high-resolution monitor, which allows the radiologist to examine in greater detail. Our digital mammography is capable of imaging large-breasted women. See when and how often you should get a mammogram.
Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD):
Our radiologists use CAD as a second set of eyes on all screening mammograms. CAD uses a highly sensitive computer to scan mammograms for any potential abnormalities, and then flags them for the radiologist to review. This technique has been shown over many years and in multiple studies to improve early detection of breast cancer by serving as a second set of sensitive and skilled eyes.
Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):
Our MRI has the highest resolution images available in Fairfield County. Breast MRI can detect breast cancers that are not visible with other technologies. Patients who have been told they are at high risk, women with breast implants, women whose other studies are inconclusive, and women recently or previously diagnosed with breast cancer, may benefit from a breast MRI.
Screening and Diagnostic Ultrasound:
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves (no radiation) to evaluate the tissues in the breast. Ultrasound is often used in conjunction with the mammogram for diagnostic exams. Screening ultrasound is often recommended for patients with dense breast tissue. (Connecticut was the first state in the country to support the use of ultrasound as a screening test in conjunction with mammography).
Ultrasound is often the first test used in women under age 35, and in pregnant or nursing women. The current recommendation is that women with dense breasts should have annual screening breast ultrasound in addition to screening 3D mammography.
Stereotactic Core Needle Biopsy:
Is performed by one of our experienced radiologists using mammography as a guide. Using digital technology, the area of concern is located and biopsied with a vacuum-assisted needle. This allows for an accurate diagnosis of benign and cancerous breast disease, and avoids a trip to the operating room by using minimally invasive technology.
Radiology Minimally Invasive Image Guided Biopsies:
The specialty trained dedicated breast radiologists perform all types of image-guided, minimally invasive breast biopsy procedures, including mammography-guided stereotactic biopsies; ultrasound- and MRI-guided needle biopsies, fine needle aspirations, and localizations (by mammogram, ultrasound, and MRI). These procedures are all minimally invasive, quick and relatively painless. They are performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. They can often be performed at the same time as an abnormal mammogram or ultrasound, because we know that your time is important.