Mammography and Breast Ultrasound

What is Mammography?

Mammography is a specific type of breast imaging that uses low-dose X-rays to detect cancer early, when it is most treatable. Since its introduction to the market in 2011, sales of 3D mammography have been growing at a much faster pace than 2D mammography. Also called digital breast tomosynthesis, 3D mammography is an FDA-approved advanced technology that takes multiple images, or X-rays, at different angles to recreate a 3D picture of the breast. The multiple images of breast tissue slices give physicians a multi-plane image that makes it easier to view multiple layers of breast tissue rather than seeing all layers in one image as with traditional 2D mammography. As 3D mammography becomes more widely available, more and more health insurance providers are covering screening with this technology; it is estimated that 3D mammography is now fully reimbursable for 85% of covered lives across the U.S. [i]

What is Breast Ultrasound?

A breast ultrasound is a scan that uses penetrating sound waves that do not affect or damage the tissue and cannot be heard by humans. The breast tissue deflects these waves causing echoes, which a computer uses to paint a picture of what’s going on inside the breast tissue. A mass filled with liquid shows up differently than a solid mass. The detailed picture generated by the ultrasound is called a “sonogram.” Ultrasounds are helpful when a lump is large enough to be easily felt, and the images can be used to further evaluate the abnormality.

A breast ultrasound can provide evidence about whether the lump is a solid mass, a cyst filled with fluid, or a combination of the two. While cysts are typically not cancerous, a solid lump may be a cancerous tumor. Healthcare professionals also use this diagnostic method to help measure the exact size and location of the lump and get a closer look at the surrounding tissue.[ii]

What is the right technology?

There are endless considerations when it comes to making a technology decision for breast imaging. Whether it’s mammography or breast ultrasound, you have many variables to weigh in your decision. For mammography, is 2D technology enough to support your clinical initiatives, or do you need 3D (tomosynthesis) to truly meet the goals of your Women’s Health Program? Do the payers in your state offer reimbursement for 3D mammography? As for ultrasound, are you able to manage your throughput effectively with conventional handheld ultrasound or does your patient capacity require automated breast ultrasound?

Shared Imaging provides breast imaging technology from the OEM of your choice, and we can customize the solution to match your clinical needs. Whether you are looking for the latest in technology, or simply a reliable workhorse, Shared Imaging can provide you the system you need to best serve your patient population. We offer new, used and refurbished systems in multiple environments, including in-house, modular and mobile, ensuring you get the right technology at the right time in the right place for the right cost.

What does your ideal solution look like?

Do you need the latest in technology or simply a reliable system to handle bread & butter procedures? Are you going to place the system in-house or place the system in a medical coach? What are your procurement options; is capital available? How about your staffing needs; self-staff or not?

There are plenty of questions to consider in developing your ideal breast imaging solution. Our goal is to enable you to customize a solution that answers every one of these questions exactly as needed, and then exceed expectations in its delivery.

[i] Bramlet, Kellie. “What You Should Know about 3-D Mammography.” What You Should Know about 3-D Mammography | MD Anderson Cancer Center, MD Anderson.

[ii] Nbcf. “Ultrasound: The National Breast Cancer Foundation.”, National Breast Cancer Foundation,

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