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Hunterdon News

A More Comfortable Mammography Experience for Women Now at Hunterdon Healthcare Imaging Centers

Young woman undergoing a breast exam.
September 28, 2018

Here are a few words that rarely go together: relaxed, comfortable, and mammogram. The primary reason women dread and skip screening mammograms is pain. In one study, researchers found that 46 percent of women skipped their regular mammogram because the first one hurt too much. In another published study, researchers interviewed 2,600 women about their experience with a screening mammogram and found that 10-15 percent experienced “moderate to severe” levels of distress or pain.

That’s why Hunterdon Healthcare is now offering our patients a new option in mammograms: the Senographe Pristina™. Designed from the ground up with input from women, it is the first mammography system to provide women with the “three Cs”: comfort, confidence, and clarity.

“If women skip their screening mammogram, they could literally be putting their lives at risk,” said Alice Quinn, Manager and Patient Care Navigator Hunterdon Women’s Imaging Center. “That’s why we brought the Senographe Pristina to Hunterdon Healthcare – because we believe that a test that could save a woman’s life shouldn’t hurt.”

The design of the Senographe Pristina changes the stance of the traditional mammogram. Instead of tensing their pectoral muscles while grabbing the traditional handgrips – which can make it hard to acquire high quality images – women can lean comfortably on the armrests, relaxing their muscles to simplify positioning, compression, and improve image quality. The image receptor is also thinner than the previous design, so it doesn’t jab into a woman’s ribs. The design also improves the technician’s workflow, which improves patient positioning that could lead to faster, more precise exams.

Senographe Pristina also uses 3D technology, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis. 3D technology delivers superior diagnostic accuracy at the same low dose as a 2D mammography exam, the lowest patient dose of all FDA-approved 3D mammography systems. The technology uses a low-dose short X-ray “sweep” around the positioned breast with nine exposures acquired with a “step-and-shoot” method. This helps remove any movement of the x-ray tube, reducing blur and increasing image sharpness.

The Senographe Pristina machine is available at Hunterdon Women’s Imaging Center, located at 121 Route 31 in Flemington, and at  the new Hunterdon Advanced Imaging Center, located at 1121 Route 22 in Bridgewater. To schedule an appointment, call 908-237-4150. To learn more, visit HunterdonHealthcare.org/Imaging.

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