Paddles and mammograms

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I know mammograms are invasive and uncomfortable, but I have good news, Tri-County Health Care has added the Hologic SmartCurve Breast Stabilization system to our workflow. The new technology we have is wonderful because it makes compression more comfortable during your mammogram through the use of conforming paddles.

Many women dislike mammograms because they are uncomfortable. You are in a vulnerable state when you have a mammogram. It is not only uncomfortable physically, but women are also uncomfortable mentally and emotionally. You are entrusting your body and your health to someone you just met. All of that anxiety on top of the fear of breast cancer can be exhausting. The outcome is unknown and could change your life.

The new paddles can accommodate a wide range of patients.

The new paddles can accommodate a wide range of patients. They conform to the size and shape of the breast while applying more even pressure.

Changes and improvements

We switched to using these new curved paddles with patient comfort in mind. We encourage women to get mammograms and are always looking for ways to make the procedure more pleasant. Mammograms are still the most sensitive test that we have to detect cancer in its earliest stages. One of the biggest reasons women don’t get a mammogram is because they are uncomfortable. These new paddles can help women feel more at ease during the exam with less pulling and evenly distributed compression throughout the breast—these paddles curve with the shape of the breast and the chest wall. Many women complain of the pulling at the chest wall, and these new mammogram paddles have a more natural curve that resembles the shape of the breast.

Safe screening

We have already received a flurry of positive comments about the new paddles and I know we will receive more. There has never been a better time to schedule a mammogram at Tri-County Health Care! If you’re 40 or older or have a family history of breast cancer, please consider this life-saving screening. I have personally witnessed this testing save lives. It can be scary, but it is worth it. Click here to learn more about our 3-D Mammography or call 218-631-3510 to schedule an appointment!

I found a short video that gives more information on the technological aspects of mammograms. Please watch and don’t hesitate to ask questions about mammograms during your next primary care appointment.

 

Guest Writer: Kate Lachowitzer, Diagnostic Imaging Manager

Kate has been working at Tri-County Health Care for over seven years. She started as a staff technologist and became the department manager after two years of dedicated service. She loves the people-first atmosphere of Tri-County Health Care and enjoys working with a team that cares so much!


Tri-County Health Care Earns ACR Accreditation

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Tri-County’s MRI system uses no radiation to capture images, but rather magnets to acquire superb image quality that may be used for a wide range of medical needs — from orthopedic and sports-related injuries to breast cancer testing — and can help physicians make quicker, more accurate diagnoses.

Tri-County Health Care has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). MRI is a noninvasive medical test that utilizes magnetic fields to produce anatomical images of internal body parts to help physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report that can be used for continuous practice improvement.

Shonna Melchior, TCHC MRI Technologist, assists a patient.

The ACR, founded in 1924, is a professional medical society dedicated to serving patients and society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science and professions of radiological care. The College serves more than 37,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

Watch this video to see Tri-County Health Care’s new advanced MRI suite: