Breast Imaging and Mammography

Mammography is a special x-ray technique that images the breast. Specialised equipment and staff are used for this purpose.

The breast is compressed using paddles for mammography. This is to immobilize the breast tissue and also to flattened the breast for better image quality. Whilst a bit uncomfortable, most women have no difficulty tolerating the examination. Breast compression will be the least required and for the minimal amount of time. As some women have breast tenderness and sensitivity in various times of their cycle (usually pre menstrual) it might be a good idea to avoid those times.

A very small amount of radiation is used for mammography. Whilst there is no safe dose, the very small risk of harm has to be balanced against the very serious consequences of not diagnosing or delaying the diagnosis of a breast cancer. At Lime Radiology, we use the state of the art GE digital mammography equipment to insure the best image quality and hence diagnostic confidence with the minimal radiation dose.

3D mammography or tomosynthesis is the latest advance in breast imaging.  As the name suggests, it provides a 3D image of the breast allowing better visualisation particularly of dense breasts.  Multiple studies have shown it to be more accurate and sensitive compared to standard mammography.  There is an approximate 40% increase in breast cancer detection when compared to standard 2D mammography.  The images produced are somewhat like CT scans with “slices / layers”.  3D mammography is now available at Lime Radiology.

Breast ultrasounds are undertaken at Lime Radiology by specially trained Breast Sonographers who have specific expertise in the field. A breast ultrasound is like an ultrasound of any other part of the body but using specialized protocols and image processing.

Breast biopsies or drainage of breast cysts can be undertaken using ultrasound guidance. The ultrasound machine is used to provide real time imaging of the lesion/s in question as the biopsy is performed. Lime Radiology also offers Vacuum Assisted Biopsies (VAB). This is a newer, more advanced way of performing a biopsy. It can be more comfortable for the patient and allows a larger sample size for the pathologist. VAB can be performed under ultrasound or mammographic guidance. Ultrasound or mammographic guided localization of breast lesion prior to surgery is also be performed at Lime Radiology.