Main Phone Number: (970) 484-4757  |  Billing Phone Number: (970) 484-4758  |  Toll Free: (888) 484-4755

Women’s Imaging

Women’s Imaging

Women have healthcare needs all their own. These needs reflect a combination of their unique anatomy and physiology, as well as their desire to be cared for by physicians sensitive to these gender-specific issues. Whether breast disease, gynecologic concerns, prenatal care, or osteoporosis, Advanced Medical Imaging Consultants (AMIC) provides leading-edge diagnostic care for women’s health. We use the latest modalities and enhanced detection capabilities for screening, diagnosis, staging, treatment planning, treatment, and post-treatment follow-up.

We also have a complete network of the resources a woman will need if breast cancer is detected. Yet, breast cancer is not our only focus. Because osteoporosis is common among women and can have a dramatic impact on their health and quality of life, we also provide bone-density testing in order to detect potential problems as early as possible. You will feel confident knowing the AMIC team includes skilled, experienced radiologists with subspecialty fellowship training in MRI, CT, ultrasound, and body imaging. Plus, our prompt, detailed reporting and tracking keep you informed while helping ensure your patients do not miss follow-up testing or treatment.

AMIC’s fellowship trained radiologists specializing in Women’s and Breast Imaging frequently provide information regarding the latest and most effective techniques for breast imaging to physicians and the public. Please read on to view several recent informative presentations. If you have any questions regarding Breast Imaging, or to contact a radiologist, please call (970) 484-4757.


Comprehensive women’s imaging capabilities.

As a subspecialty of diagnostic radiology, AMIC performs a myriad of women’s imaging exams at leading area hospitals in and around Northern Colorado, Southern Wyoming, and Southwest Nebraska, including:

Mammography – Mammography is an excellent tool in the fight against breast cancer, which is the most common cancer among women, other than skin cancer, and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Annual screening mammography remains the only scientifically proven lifesaving imaging modality for the detection of breast cancer, with reduction in breast cancer mortality up to 40%.

The American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, and Society of Breast Imaging recommend annual screening mammography beginning at age 40. Of course, specific breast complaints could warrant a mammography procedure, and family history or other risk factors may indicate the need for mammography with greater frequency and initial screening at a younger age. Mammography allows our radiologists to detect breast cancer or other abnormalities in their earliest stages, oftentimes long before they can be felt through clinical or self-breast exams. Early detection of breast cancer means early treatment that is less invasive and most effective.

Digital mammography – Digital mammography is similar to standard (film) mammography in that x-rays are used to produce detailed images of the breast.  For both techniques, it is necessary for the breast to be compressed and from the patients point of view, the exam is very much the same. With digital mammography, the image is recorded by and stored on a computer instead of film which improves ease of exam acquisition, storage, access and transmission. In addition, the magnification, brightness and contrast can be altered after the exam is completed to optimize visualization of certain areas. Digital mammography has lower average radiation dose without a compromise in accuracy. Many studies have shown that the accuracy of digital mammography is comparable to that of standard mammography. One large research study by the National Cancer Institute showed that both digital and film mammography had sensitivities (the ability to tell if a cancer is present) for breast cancer of 70 percent in the overall study population. However, digital mammography was more accurate in finding cancers than film mammography in women under age 50 or women of any age who had very dense breasts. The rates of inconclusive results were similar between digital and film.

How should women determine which type of mammogram to have? Women under age 50 or with a “heterogeneously dense or extremely dense” rating on their prior mammogram should consider digital mammography. Women who are uncertain about their density status should inquire about it at the time of their next visit with their health care provider. However, other factors are important and one should keep in mind that film mammography has been successfully used as a screening tool for breast cancer for over 35 years. Experts at the American Cancer Society agree that high quality yearly screening mammography is most important and it would be better to have a film mammogram on schedule at a reliable breast center than delay screening in order to get a digital mammogram.

Computer-aided detection (CAD) for mammography – CAD is an exciting advance in the field of breast imaging that provides the radiologist with a computerized second review of mammograms. Computer-aided detection is a computer-generated algorithm that identifies areas of increased density, tissue asymmetry, and suspicious micro-calcifications. CAD effectively functions as a “second pair of eyes” and has been shown in studies to improve cancer detection by up to 20%.

Breast ultrasound – High-resolution breast ultrasound is applied as a problem-solving tool used in conjunction with mammography. Sonography is directed to areas of mammographic abnormality or symptomatic areas of the breast. Ultrasound is also used to differentiate cysts from solid masses and can be used to guide breast biopsies.

Breast MRI – High-resolution breast MRI is a powerful imaging modality to be used in conjunction with mammography. Breast MRI is predominantly reserved for high-risk patients or as a problem-solving tool. This includes patients with known breast cancer and patients with a known breast cancer gene. Identification of cancer hinges on the fact that malignant tissue shows greater blood flow than surrounding normal breast tissue. Therefore, cancer obscured by dense breast tissue on a mammogram may appear more obvious on MRI. Breast MRI is also considered the “gold standard” for evaluation of breast implant rupture.

Breast biopsy procedures – In many cases, it is not possible to tell from imaging studies alone whether a lesion is benign or malignant, so it may be necessary to obtain a tissue sample. As an alternative to open surgical biopsy, we perform several minimally invasive breast biopsy procedures utilizing ultrasound, stereotactic, and MRI guidance.

Ultrasound-guided core biopsy or aspiration – Ultrasound is used to guide core needle biopsy of a solid lesion or aspiration of a cyst. Breast imaging specialists watch in real time during the procedure, which requires only local anesthesia and no radiation.

Vacuum-assisted stereotactic breast biopsy – Mammographic digital images are obtained to guide core needle biopsy. This technique is most often applied for biopsy of calcifications or lesions seen mammographically and not seen by ultrasound. The procedure requires local anesthesia and only low-dose radiation.

MRI-guided vacuum-assisted breast biopsy – Contrast-enhanced MRI images are used to guide core needle biopsy directed to sites of MRI abnormality not seen on mammography or sonography. The procedure requires only local anesthesia and no radiation.

Gynecological and prenatal care – Our specialty-trained sonographers specialize in prenatal diagnostics and high-risk obstetric utrasound. Our capabilities in this area also include PET/oncologic imaging to diagnose gynecologic malignancies such as cervical, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.

Bone densitometry (DEXA scan) – A DEXA scan quickly, painlessly, and accurately measures bone strength, density, and mineral content. This is highly effective in diagnosing osteoporosis and monitoring the effectiveness of treatment.

Your partner in patient management.

Women’s imaging is one of the many areas in which we continue our commitment of keeping our friends and neighbors healthy. We are fully dedicated to providing you and your patients with care that is professional, comprehensive, and efficient. We will provide you with the results of your patients’ exams promptly, usually within one workday or less, and urgent findings will be sent or called in immediately. For more information on AMIC’s women’s imaging capabilities or if you wish to refer a patient, please call us today. We appreciate your referrals.

 

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