Full Field Digital Mammography uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor, and transmitted and stored just like computer files.
From a patient’s point of view, having a digital mammogram is very much like having a conventional screen-film mammogram. Both film-based and digital mammography use compression and x-rays to create clear images of the breast. During all mammography exams the technologist positions the patient to image the breast from different angles and compresses the breast with a paddle to obtain image quality.
Unlike film-based mammography, digital mammograms produce images that appear on the technologist’s monitor in a matter of seconds. There is no waiting for film to develop, which can mean a shorter time spent in the breast imaging suite.
Unlike other parts of the body, the breast is composed mainly of soft tissue. With digital mammography, the radiologist reviews electronic images of the breast, using special high-resolution monitors. The radiologist can adjust the brightness, change contrast, and zoom in for close ups of specific areas. Being able to manipulate images is one of the main benefits of digital technology.
Another convenience of digital mammography over film-based systems is it can greatly reduce the need for retakes. This potentially saves additional time and reduces your exposure to x-ray.
Screening mammograms can be done without a physician’s order. Call our Scheduling Department at 618-222-4639 to make your appointment at our Belleville or O'Fallon imaging locations. Extended evening and weekend hours available for your convenience.