Bermuda Hospitals Board performs first 3D mammograms

Thursday 13 May 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board performed three-dimensional (3D) mammograms for the first time on Wednesday 12 May.

Earlier this month, GE’s Pristina 3D mammography unit was installed in the Diagnostic Imaging Department of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, replacing the old 2D unit.

“There was a real excitement in the air with our mammography team,” said Imaging Services Clinical Manager Renee Butterfield.

“We are so proud that we not only have a 3D unit, but that our software is the most up to date of any on the island,” said technologists Carla Cann and Terri Farnan.

“We’re so pleased that everything is going to plan,” said Senior Imaging Technologist Terricca Smith. “All the staff are happy and so are our clients.”

Tanya Smith was the first person to have her mammogram using the new equipment.

“It was actually quicker than the last one that I remember,” she said. “It was great. I would say definitely come and get it done for sure. The ladies here make it so easy for you. You don’t even have to think about it. Before you know it you’re done and they are saying, ‘You’re done,’ and you are thinking, ‘Oh, ok that was so easy!’”

BHB upgraded its digital mammography unit to 3D to obtain clearer images. Research has shown that 3D mammography locates more cancers than its 2D predecessor and also reduces the number of false positives. The imaging unit creates a 3D picture of breast tissue using X-rays of several different angles around the breast.

A 2D mammogram creates a two-dimensional image from two X-ray images of each breast.

Installation of the Ivenia Automated Breast Ultrasound system will take place in the coming weeks. Combined with the new 3D mammogram it will provide better imaging of dense breast tissue.

“Better imaging produces clearer images and makes it easier to detect problems early,” said BHB Chief of Radiology Daniel Stovell, MD. “These upgrades represent a significant improvement in our service to the public.”

13 May 2021 Home Page, News

BHB will introduce automated breast ultrasound service

Thursday 22 April 2021: Bermuda Hospitals Board is upgrading its mammography service with a new 3D unit and possibly the island’s first automated breast ultrasound unit (ABUS).

The Pristina 3D mammography unit and the Ivenia ABUS, both from manufacturer GE, will be installed this month. To make room for the new units, the old 2D mammography machine is being removed.

Mammography and biopsy services have been suspended while the switchover is carried out. Following the installations, staff training on the new equipment will take place.

Benefits of 3D mammography

Research has shown that 3D mammography locates more cancers than its 2D predecessor and also reduces the number of false positives. In 2D mammography, two X-ray images of the breast are used. Three-dimensional (3D) mammography creates a 3D picture of breast tissue using X-ray images of several different angles around the breast.

Benefits of automated breast ultrasound

In mammograms, both the healthy dense breast tissue and cancer appear white. This makes cancer detection more difficult in those with dense breasts. Seventy-one percent of cancers occur in dense breasts, and studies show that over a third of cancers in dense breasts are missed in mammograms.

Cancer detection in dense breast tissue significantly improves with the use of a specially designed ultrasound device – ABUS. The combination imagery of X-rays (from the 3D mammogram) and sound waves (from the ultrasound) produces a much clearer picture of the dense breast tissue. Cancer cells appear black in ultrasound imagery, while the dense breast tissue appears white. This makes it easier for radiologists to detect cancer cells.

“Imaging Services staff are excited about this upgrade and eager to start using the advanced technology,” said Diagnostic Imaging Clinical Manager Renee Butterfield.

“The installations represent significant improvement in service we provide the public,” said Chief of Diagnostic Imaging Daniel Stovell, MD. “The technologies produce clearer images, which have a host of medical benefits, one of the most important of which is that it improves our ability to detect cancer.”

22 April 2021 Home Page, News