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.
In order to continue to detect breast cancer at the earliest possible stage in our patients, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital invested over $400,000 to expand our current mammography services with advanced 3D mammography. This new, state-of-the-art technology allows St. Elizabeth’s Hospital to offer 3D Mammograms, as a complement to the current 2D services, for patients meeting certain criteria including those who have a strong family history of breast cancer, and patients with dense breast tissue. Patients considering 3D mammography should check with their insurance provider regarding coverage.
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. To additionally save you time, download our Mammography Film Release form and bring it with you to your appointment.
To print a release form authorizing your mammogram films and reports from another breast imaging facility to be released to us, download this form and fax it to that facility. You also may bring it with you to your appointment, and we will make the request on your behalf.