“This is the right thing to do,” he said.
“I think 20% of hospitals in the country have gone digital. This puts us ahead of the trend.”
Highlights of the new machine include less wait time between the exam and results, which could accelerate scannings; higher-resolution X-rays that allow doctors and nurses to better view potential maladies; and the potential to serve more patients throughout the year.
The digital mammography machine will also use less radiation and could be less intrusive than the previous mammography system used by the hospital, Cameron said.
“This is an amazing piece of equipment,” he said. “This has allowed us to look at things in a different light, a better light. With the old machine, the scan was between 20 and 30 minutes. With the new machine, it will now be about 15 minutes. So, compression will be shorter. It’s a more patient friendly process.”
Cameron was hard-pressed to find fault with the new machine, but admitted that the digital equipment does have difficulty scanning breasts with implants, a hindrance experienced by most breast detection machines, he said.
To get around the problem, scanning devices photograph breasts from a variety of angles around the implant.
Verdugo’s new machine, like other breast-scanning devices, will still be forced to scan around implants.
But patients will be better served because of the digital system’s increased speed and higher resolution photographs, Cameron said.
“This machine will save lives,” said Mark Sullivan, Verdugo Hills Hospital board of directors’ member.
The device has been operational since late March and has already had an effect on patients.