MGH first to purchase GE's patient-assisted mammo compression device

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | October 30, 2017
Women's Health
Massachusetts General Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital recent became the first mammography facility in the U.S. to begin utilizing a new patient-assisted mammography compression device.

"One of the barriers that women will share when talking about why they don't get mammograms is that they had prior bad experiences with pain or discomfort," Dr. Constance D. Lehman, director of breast imaging at MGH, told HCB News. "We thought this new technology might reduce that fear and discomfort."

GE Healthcare's Pristina Dueta, which scored FDA approval last month, is a feature for its Senographe Pristina mammography system that allows the patients to control the amount of compression applied during the breast imaging exam.

A study published in Revista Da Associacao Medica Brasileira in 2006 found that 90 percent of the patients reported discomfort and 12 percent rated the sensation as intense or intolerable.

"Getting a mammogram is a very individual experience," said Lehman. "Many women find it slightly uncomfortable but they haven't had pain or any significant discomfort from it but that's not true for everyone. We offer this for women who think that they might benefit from it."

She noted that women have been calling in to ask about this new technology. Some patients are concerned that they will be conducting their own mammogram, but Lehman assures that the technologists is supervising and working with the patient to ensure the highest-quality images are obtained.

MGH will continue to use its other conventional mammography systems, and plans to study how the Senographe Pristina works in comparison.

Christine E. Lynn Women's Health and Wellness Institute at Boca Raton Hospital in Florida became the first to install the Senographe Pristina system in July. Dr. Kathy Schilling, the institute's medical director, explained that it's not as "intimidating and mechanical-looking" as older mammography systems.

In addition to the U.S., the Senographe Pristina mammography system and Pristina Dueta feature are also approved for sale in Europe, Japan and Canada.

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