Ascot Radiology, Auckland, has established a world-leading centre for breast screening and diagnosis, supported by specialist radiologists & highly-skilled technicians.
We have a Full Field Digital Mammography machine from GE Healthcare at our Ascot Central branch. This unit provides top quality images, and now replaces conventional film mammography. It is very straightforward to use and patients find it more comfortable.
To perform a mammogram the breast is compressed between two paddles and an x-ray exposure is made. Typically a mammogram series comprises four images, two of each breast, but frequently extra views are taken. Mammograms are recommended as a screening procedure for breast cancer for women after the age of 40, every one to two years, depending on your age. They are also used to investigate breast lumps in both men and women. For more information on mammography, click here.
Digital Breast Tomosynthesis
We are delighted to now offer digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) at our Ascot Central and St Heliers branches.
- Digital tomosynthesis is the latest in breast imaging technology.
- While a mammogram provides a 2D image of the breast, tomosynthesis creates highly detailed, multi-planar images.
- Positioning is similar to that of a mammogram.
- The resulting images provide the best possible view of all the breast tissue, with greater cancer detection across all ages and breast densities.
- It has been proven to have a higher cancer detection rate and a reduced recall rate without any added risk or radiation to the patient.
We have the latest ultrasound machines at Ascot Radiology to give the best possible images, including 3D capability. Ultrasound is frequently used in conjunction with mammography, or to investigate beast lumps. For more information on ultrasound, click here.
MRI is the largest growth area in breast imaging. It is being used increasingly to investigate breast problems, but can also be used for cancer screening and in the biopsy of breast lumps.
We have installed the latest 3 Tesla Philips Achieva MRI scanner to give top quality MRI images. The 3 Tesla system gives greater clarity, reduces imaging time, and enables Spectroscopy whereby the tissue can be characterised. For greater diagnostic accuracy, we also have a DynaCAD workstation. This provides Computer Aided Diagnosis (CAD), which is a great help to the radiologists who examine thousands of images in each study.
To image the breasts using MRI, the patient lies face down on the scanner table. Gadolinium contrast is almost always injected to help diagnostic accuracy. For more information on MRI, please click here.
Once a breast problem has been detected, be it a lump, a mass seen only on imaging, or some unusual calcifications, then a biopsy (obtaining some tissue) is required. There are three options here and the choice of modality will depend on how best the lesion is seen:
Mammography Guidance: Using the Digital Mammography system, breast lesions can biopsied using Stereotactic Guidance. This system uses computer guidance to guide the needle to the desired spot.
Ultrasound Guidance: Ultrasound can also be used to guide a needle to the desired location to take a biopsy, and the progress of the needle can be viewed in real time.
MRI Guidance: Ascot Radiology utilises the first system for MR guided biopsies installed in New Zealand. This uses the DynaCAD workstation to accurately guide the needle to the desired spot. There are masses and other abnormalities seen only on MRI (versus mammography and ultrasound), and the ability to biopsy these gives us the complete package.