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Lincolnton clinic first in state with 3-D digital mammography device

[contributed]

 Melissa Mauney and Christy Hentschel are among the staff at Sound Imaging of Lincolnton who will assist clients with breast exams using the new 3-D device.

SARAH LOWERY
Staff Writer
Lincoln County is now home to the first and only 3-D digital mammography machine in the state.
Sound Imaging, a freestanding clinic in Lincolnton formerly named Blue Ridge Radiology, acquired the state-of-the-art technology in October. There are fewer than 100 of these digital tomosynthesis mammography machines nationwide, and they are described as the “latest screening and diagnostic technology available” in a news release sent out by the clinic.
Michael Streppa, Psy.D., business manager for Sound Imaging, said, “This new technology offers women earlier detection, fewer callbacks and greater diagnostic accuracy over the traditional 2-D digital mammography machines.”
With earlier detection of breast cancer comes the greater likelihood of both effective treatment and survival, Streppa added. And he believes the technology will help prevent anxiety for women by reducing or eliminating unnecessary callbacks.
“That Lincoln County now has the only such machine in the state is really exciting for women’s health and makes us unique not only here in North Carolina but in the U.S.,” Streppa noted.
Specifically, the machine provides a clearer and more accurate picture of the breast by allowing radiologists to look at slices of the tissue in increments and enabling them to observe what is present in each layer through multiple, low-dose images acquired from different angles.
Streppa compared the process to peeling back layers of an onion.
The conventional 2-D technology presents images of overlapping tissue, which could conceal parts of the breast structure. Additionally, some cancers are not visible on a 2-D mammography machine.
The new equipment is part of the Selenia Dimensions digital mammography system, which, the release noted, “offers exceptionally sharp breast images, an advanced ergonomic design providing more patient comfort and a groundbreaking 3-D tomosynthesis platform designed to deliver superior screening and diagnostic performance.”
Breast tomosynthesis technology was approved by the FDA in February 2011, according to the release.
Streppa said the owner of the practice attended a radiology annual conference and saw the technology demonstrated, later making the decision to purchase it.
He also believes that by offering the revolutionary technology, the practice will extend its reach and patient base, particularly with its “competitive pricing.”
“This is where the future of mammography is going,” Streppa said, adding that 3-D machines will now be the “new standard.”
Sound Imaging, the last independently owned imaging center in Western North Carolina, offers a range of full-body imaging services.

Image courtesy of Web | Lincoln Times-News

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