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New breast imaging technology offers improved care for women

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Dustin Vandehey | April 03, 2017 | Clinical News

Mary Lucas examines a sample on imager.

Tuality Healthcare’s Breast Health Center has another tool to improve the patient experience for breast imaging. The Mobile Trident Specimen Imager provides sharp, high quality images for instant verification of breast specimens during a procedure or in the operating room.

Radiologists now can collect imagery of specimens in real-time while the patient is in compression with the biopsy needle still in their breast. The process is over in minutes compared to hours. Traditionally, samples left the room for processing and analysis while the patient remained in the room. Radiologist would also have to review the image in another room while the patient was under compression.

“The patient would still be in compression with the needle in their breast while the image was undergoing processing,” said Heather Humelbaugh, Tuality’s Director of Diagnostic Imaging. Staff also would have to wait for another mammography unit to be available, causing delays to the process.

“With this old process, there was an increase in surgery time, increase in patient anxiety, increase in workflow interruptions, and a decrease in available resources for patients,” said Mary Lucas, Breast Health Center manager.

With this new equipment, surgeons also reduce time in the operating room, meaning the patient spends less time under anesthesia. “Certain patients have comorbidities and are sensitive to anesthesia,” Humelbaugh said. “This technology will help reduce this.”

The surgeon can transfer the image to a radiologist and both physicians can discuss while the patient is still in the operating room. Pathologists and technologists will know immediately if they have an abnormality or tumor, which will further save time and money. “There will be no need for a re-excision, repeat sampling or hunting for hard-to-find tumors in tissue samples,” Lucas said.

Surgeons can add annotations to the image and make comparisons to see changes in the patient’s anatomy. The enhanced and efficient workflow will help reduce patient anxiety and improve the overall experience. “The time saved with this new technology is 5 to 30 minutes compared to the old way of doing things,” Lucas said. The technology is brand new and will be used in Tuality’s main operating room, outpatient surgery areas as well as in the Breast Health Services biopsy rooms.

The Mobile Trident Specimen Imager was funded by the Tuality Healthcare Foundation

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About Tuality Healthcare

Tuality Healthcare, an OHSU Partner, is a leading healthcare provider in Washington County, serving a market area of 350,000 and growing. Tuality is a nonprofit, community-based organization with hospitals in Hillsboro and Forest Grove, and numerous physician and outpatient clinics.