Digital mammography (sometimes referred to as full-field digital/diagnostic mammography) is one of the most recent advances in X-RAY mammography. It is redefining the way women’s healthcare is delivered and provides a new option in breast health. Similar to standard mammography, X-RAYs are used to produce an image of the breast. The key role of digital mammography is to identify breast cancer in its early stages when it is very small. This is often a year or two before it is large enough to be felt by your healthcare provider. Mammography detects about 2–3 times as many early breast cancers as a physical examination.

The differences between standard and digital mammography are the way the images are recorded, viewed by the radiologist, and stored. Standard mammogram images are recorded on X-RAY film. Digital mammography images are captured electronically and viewable on a computer screen within 8–10 seconds. They are stored on the computer and therefore their magnification, brightness, darkness or contrast can be “enhanced” after the mammogram is complete to help the doctor more clearly see certain areas. Because breast imaging exam images can be adjusted by the radiologist, subtle differences between tissues may be noted. Many times the differences between digital mammography and standard mammography are compared to the differences between a digital camera and a camera using regular film. With a digital camera, you put the pictures in your computer and are able to adjust how light or dark they are and even make them larger. With a regular camera, you have film that is converted into a picture “hard copy” that is not adjustable. The digital images can also be transmitted electronically for viewing or consultation.

Early in 2000, the FDA approved the “full-field” digital mammogram system that can now be used for routine breast cancer screening. Digital mammography will eventually replace traditional mammography. Some of the advantages of digital mammography include:

  • Improved contrasts between dense and non-dense breast tissue
  • Improved detector cellular design, reducing radiation exposure
  • Shorter exam time, reducing anxiety as pictures are generated immediately
  • Easier image storage
  • Physician manipulation of breast images for more accurate detection of breast cancer
  • Ability to correct under or over exposed films without having to repeat the mammogram
  • Ease of transmission of images from one physician to another

Computer Aided Detection

To complement our digital mammography services, Imaging Healthcare Specialists has implemented Computer Aided Detection (CAD) capability to further assist in the detection of cancer in its earlier stages. CAD uses advanced scanning and software technology to examine the acquired image and provide information to the interpreting radiologist regarding any particular areas of concern. The professional expertise of our highly trained radiologists, along with the implementation of CAD, allows Imaging Healthcare Specialists to offer the best tools available to detect breast cancer.

Prep Instructions

  1. Wear comfortable clothing.
  2. Arrive at the specified time to allow for registration and exam preparation.
  3. Notify us upon arrival of any special needs or allergies.
  4. Bring your insurance card and authorization or worker’s comp information.
  5. Plan to pay any required co-pays at the time of your service.
  6. Bring a picture ID.

To insure the highest-quality procedure in a safe environment, we are unable to provide child care services during your examination. Please do not bring unattended children to the imaging center.

Additional Digital Mammography Prep Instructions

  1. Do not wear any powders, perfumes, lotions, or deodorant for your exam.
  2. Wear a two-piece outfit.


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