Women’s Imaging | More than Mammograms
When we think of women’s imaging, most of us think about mammograms. Mammograms are an important way to screen for breast cancer and to diagnose other breast conditions, but did you know there are so many other ways we can use imaging services to monitor women’s health? Here are just a few of the services Central Oregon Radiology Associates (or CORA) provides for women’s imaging in Bend.
Types of Women’s Imaging in Bend
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention our mammogram services. CORA has upgraded our machines to provide the newest technology for our communities, 3D mammography, also called tomosynthesis. This method allows us to see fine details that used to be hidden or masked by overlying tissue.
If needed, mammograms may also be used to locate breast abnormalities for biopsy. This is known as a stereotactic breast biopsy. To see if there is an abnormality within the ducts, mammograms may also be used alongside ductography, which uses a contrast material to view the causes of clear or bloody discharge from the nipples. We use mammograms to diagnose all types of beast conditions, including cancer. Our goal is to find your cancer before you feel it with screening mammograms as well as to figure out what you are feeling if something seems different or new.
Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of your breast tissue. It may be done alone or as an adjunct with your mammogram. If abnormalities are detected, an ultrasound-guided breast biopsy may be scheduled to evaluate a concerning area.
If a surgical biopsy is necessary, ultrasound-guided needle localization may be recommended. This involves “marking” the tissue to be removed with a thin piece of wire so that the surgeon knows where the lesion is. This same method of using ultrasound for locating abnormalities is used for ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspiration, where we can drain fluid from a cyst that is causing pain.
Ultrasounds can also provide beneficial information about your abdominal and pelvic organs. Gynecological or pelvic ultrasounds take a look at your reproductive and urinary systems while obstetrical ultrasounds look at your unborn embryo or fetus. In the case of endometrial abnormalities, hysterosonography (or saline infusion sonography) uses ultrasound to further investigate these issues.
As a supplement to mammograms or ultrasounds, breast MRIs can provide further details about your breast tissue. Using a magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer, MRIs allow us to see the anatomy and blood flow of breast tissue without the use of radiation. It is highly effective in finding small cancers and is strongly recommended that women at high risk for breast cancer get annually screened with MRI and mammography. It is also the best imaging used to diagnose certain conditions of the uterus and ovaries.
For women who are finding it difficult to get or stay pregnant, hysterosalpingography is often useful. In this procedure, we use contrast material and x-ray technology to view the structure and shape of the uterus as well as any uterine or peritoneal scarring. It also allows us to see if one or both of the fallopian tubes are open and any other abnormalities that may be causing fertility challenges.
These are just a few of the imaging services provided by Central Oregon Radiology Associates (or CORA). Contact us to schedule your appointment for women’s imaging in Bend. We have several locations in Bend, four in Redmond, and one each in Madras and Prineville.