Women's Imaging and Breast Centers at TGMC
TGMC’s Women’s Imaging and Breast Center is focused on patient comfort: the welcoming atmosphere, friendly staff
and the cotton robes that replace paper or cloth exam gowns. But the mission here is bigger, to care for the whole
The center offers bone densitometry scans, digital mammography, core breast biopsies, Breast Specific Gamma Imaging
(BSGI), breast needle localizations, ultrasound and an array of mammography and other breast imaging techniques. The
Women’s Imaging and Breast Center will be the first facility to offer BSGI technology in the Tri-Parish and New Orleans
regions. All of this technology is located on the first floor of the Women’s Center with its own waiting room, dressing
room and exam rooms.
The Women’s Imaging and Breast Center is recognized as the first comprehensive breast care center in the region. The
center is certified by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)/Mammogram Quality
Standards Act (MQSA), but that’s not why the people who work there are most proud of it. For them, it’s all about the
A mammogram is a low dose x-ray used to detect breast cancer. The breast is compressed using paddles so a technologist
can get a picture of all of the tissue. The picture can show abnormal cells or other signs of cancer. TGMC uses digital
mammography in which the images are immediately saved on a computer as digital images instead of being printed on film.
The benefits of digital mammography include:
- a greater contrast for better detection of lesions
- faster procedure times
- allows the technologist to enlarge an area in question
- allows the images to be sent electronically
In order to make this procedure as comfortable as possible, TGMC has invested in a product called the “mammopad.” The
mammopad is a foam cushion placed between the patient’s breast and the compression paddle of the mammography unit. Not
only does it make the machine feel warmer, it allows the technologist to better position the breast tissue for a better
When should you have a mammogram?
Obviously speed in diagnosing cancer helps catch it in time for successful treatment.
Mammograms are a critical tool in the early detection of breast cancer, so TGMC’s radiology staff thinks it is important to
do what they can to get women in the center for their exams.
Women older than 40 should have a mammogram performed every year. Once a patient visits TGMC’s Woman’s Imaging and Breast
Center she will receive a result letter. Reminder cards are also mailed prompting patients to schedule their annual mammogram.
Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI):
If the radiologist identifies an area of concern from the mammogram, the patient may need to return for additional
mammography images, a breast ultrasound, a BSGI scan or a biopsy.
In BSGI a patient is injected with a radioactive material and her breasts scanned using a special nuclear camera.
This technology will act as a powerful follow-up tool in cases where a mammogram has highlighted a suspicious mass. It can
also be used for women with dense breast tissue or multiple areas of calcification. In some cases, using BSGI can eliminate
or confirm the need for biopsy.
Other Types of Biopsies:
TGMC offers a few different options for a biopsy. Needle localization is a type of biopsy in which the radiologist inserts
a needle into the suspicious area. The patient is then taken to surgery in order for her surgeon to remove the questionable area.
Another type of biopsy is a core biopsy. In this case the radiologist and surgeon have determined the suspicious area may be
removed without surgery. This entire procedure is done within the Women’s Imaging and Breast Center. There is no anesthesia
involved, so the patient may leave right after the procedure.
TGMC also offers ultrasound guided biopsy and stereotactic biopsy. A stereotactic guided biopsy and/or needle localization is
a procedure using a digital stereotactic mammo machine which takes two dimensional images of the breast tissue in question. It
then calculates exactly where the radiologist or surgeon should insert the biopsy needle to get the best sample of tissue for review.
People usually associate ultrasounds with pregnancy, but they can also be used to help with a breast tissue biopsy. TGMC has an
ultrasound technologist who is certified in breast ultrasonography and is one of only 66 certified in the state.
TGMC’s ultrasound machine is not just used for breast care. It can take 3-dimentional images for a good look at any suspicious area
in a woman’s body. Ultrasounds can be used to scan the pelvis, thyroid or other parts of the body to look for abnormalities.
These cutting edge imaging machines can give you a picture of a developing baby or help doctors diagnose cysts and tumors with incredible
While at the Imaging Center a woman can also have her bone mineral density measured. A bone densitometer can tell if a patient has enough
calcium in her bones. This will help diagnose osteoporosis, a disease which can lead to brittle bones and dangerous fractures in older women.
A bone density test is a painless procedure, much like an x-ray and takes only a few minutes.
The procedure consists of a patient lying on a padded table. The lumbar spine and both hips are scanned with x-rays for a total of 10
to 15 minutes. The test uses special x-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other minerals are packed into a segment or portion of
Women older than 65, with a family history of osteoporosis and with some medical conditions should have the test. Many women choose to
have a mammogram and bone density scan done during the same visit.
Appointments are available through primary care doctors or calling TGMC at (985)850-6052.
There is a soft cotton robe waiting just for you.