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Women's Imaging Services at Baptist Health Louisville

The Women's Imaging Services at Baptist Health Louisville, designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, offers a wide range of special services just for women, including:

  • Mammography for the early detection of breast cancer
  • Mammography, breast ultrasound and stereotactic breast biopsy for evaluating breast lumps without surgery
  • Breast MRI, using magnetic waves to detect smaller breast cancers and those that may not be seen on mammograms or could be obscured by dense tissue.
  • Bone density testing to detect osteoporosis
  • Abdominal ultrasound for use during pregnancy or to diagnose gynecological problems

Designed with patient comfort and privacy in mind, the imaging suite is located on the hospital's first floor and has its own separate waiting area. Patients prepare for exams right in the rooms where the exams are conducted. The area is staffed by experienced female technologists.

Digital mammography is also available at Baptist Eastpoint near Anchorage and the Baptist Health Imaging in Middletown. Mammograms performed at these locations are also read by radiologists at Baptist East.

Pinpointing problems
Early detection and diagnosis are key to effective treatment. Baptist Health Louisville offers services aimed at helping women detect breast, bone or gynecological problems.

To aid in the early detection of breast cancer, Baptist Health Louisville's Breast Care Center offers complete breast evaluation services, including the first FDA-approved, computer-aided detection system. This high-tech system, called ImageChecker®, helps radiologists double-check each mammogram by pointing out small and subtle signs associated with cancer.

Increasing comfort
To increase your comfort, the Breast Care Center offers an FDA-approved foam cushion, called the Woman's Touch® MammoPad®, designed to ease the discomfort many women feel when they get a mammogram.

Patients likely to benefit from using MammoPad include women with a history of breast cancer, previous pain with a mammography, recent surgery, breast implants, first-time mammograms, those taking hormone therapy, women with small or heavy breasts or those with high-anxiety about the procedure. The cushion also aids men who require a mammogram.

A single-use adhesive-backed foam cushion, it attaches to the mammography device's metal compression plates.

The cushion, which is hypoallergenic and latex-free, does not interfere with X-rays. Patients like it because it's soft, warm and helps ease the painful compression, pinching and stretching of a mammogram.

Exam time
As a woman, you have a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer during your lifetime. Used in conjunction with monthly breast self-examination and an annual physical exam from your physician, mammography can help detect breast cancer in its early, most treatable stages. The American Cancer Society recommends a screening mammogram every one to two years for women age 40-49 with no history of breast disease; every year for women over age 50.

Baptist Health Louisville offers three mammography suites, each equipped with high-resolution screening and diagnostic equipment to produce clear, sharp X-rays of breast tissue. Mammography is offered Monday through Friday, 7:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m., by appointment. The exam takes about 30 minutes to perform.

On the day of your mammogram, remember:

  • Wear a two-piece outfit, so you can stay dressed from the waist down during your exam
  • Don't use any powders or underarm deodorants, because they can interfere with your results

Evaluating breast lumps
Mammography, breast ultrasound and stereotactic breast biopsy help evaluate breast lumps or abnormalities without surgery.

Nine out of 10 breast lumps aren't cancerous. If you have a breast lump, your physician may recommend you first have a mammogram. Based on those results, the radiologists at Women's Imaging Services may suggest an ultrasound exam to find out if the lump is solid or a fluid-filled cyst. Most cysts are benign and can be removed by aspiration which is inserting a needle into the cyst and drawing out the fluid.

If the lump is solid, your physician may recommend stereotactic breast biopsy. Using the Mammotome® system, stereotactic breast biospy is a quick and accurate one-step procedure, requiring only a needle to take tissue samples. It generally takes less than an hour to perform the procedure under a local anesthetic, minimizing patient discomfort. The incision made is very small -- no need for sutures. The samples taken are examined by a pathologist to determine if the lump is cancerous or benign.

Stereotactic breast biopsy is offered Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-noon, by appointment. The exam takes 45 to 90 minutes to perform. On the day of your exam, remember:

  • You may eat a light breakfast
  • Wear a two-piece outfit, so you can stay dressed from the waist down during your exam
  • Don't use any powders or underarm deodorants, because they can interfere with the procedure
  • Do not take aspirin or antiocoagulant medications two days before and two days after your stereotactic biopsy is performed

Delving into bone density
Osteoporosis literally means "porous bone." The inside of healthy bone looks something like a sponge. With osteoporosis, it's as if the holes in the sponge have become larger and more numerous, weakening the bone and making it more susceptible to fractures. As the condition worsens, broken bones may occur. Because osteoporosis has no visible symptoms in the early stages, many people are unaware of their condition and its seriousness until they break a bone.

Bone density testing is offered to help spot osteoporosis, or loss of bone mass, measuring bone density in the wrist, spine and hip - likely fracture sites. Baptist East performs DEXA bone density studies -- considered the "gold standard" for diagnosing osteoporosis. The testing can be used to detect osteoporosis before painful fractures occur and see how well a patient is responding to hormone replacement therapy or other medicines used to slow bone loss or rebuild bone.

The exam takes 30 to 45 minutes to perform and is offered Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., by appointment. To help ensure accuracy of your tests, you should not schedule bone density testing less than seven days after having a nuclear medicine study or an X-ray exam which required contrast material.

Using ultrasound
A new technique called transvaginal ultrasound uses sound waves from a small wand placed in the vagina to pick up diseases in the uterus and surrounding areas. Ultrasound may also evaluate ovarian cysts or abnormal bleeding.

An ultrasound may be recommended by your obstetrician to check the progress of your pregnancy. An ultrasound can help your obstetrician determine how far along you are in your pregnancy, if you are going to have more than one baby, if there are any health or developmental concerns about your baby and if your baby is properly positioned for a vaginal delivery.

Ultrasound is available by appointment Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

Expectant mothers can gauge their baby's development, and watch for problems, through the help of the Reproductive Imaging Center which now offers 4-D ultrasound which is the latest technology. With 4-D ultrasound, the fourth dimension is "real-time motion" added to crisper, three-dimensional images. (Traditional ultrasound images are two-dimensional.) This new powerful tool allows physicians to study the baby's motion and behavior, get a good look at his body, and problems related to a woman's uterus and ovaries. Obstetricians must refer all patients for the center's services including fetal monitoring, ultrasound, amniocentesis and fetal echocardiograms. The center is open from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

On the day of your abdominal ultrasound exam, remember:

  • You must come in with a full bladder. It helps improve the view of your reproductive organs or uterus.
  • Wear a two-piece outfit, so you can stay partially dressed during your exam.

To make an appointment for Women's Imaging Services at Baptist Health Louisville, Baptist Eastpoint or the Baptist Health Imaging, call (502) 897-8888.

And don't forget, online pre-registration is now available (at least 24 hours prior to the procedure).