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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: December 2012

Chapter 10 - Procedures with digital mammography



The history of mammography dates back to 1913, when the German surgeon Albert Salomon published his work after doing x-rays on 30 000 specimens of breast tissue removed surgically and then studied histologically [1]. It was not till the 1980s that mammography assumed a major clinical role, with the beginning of the practice of regular mammographic screening [2]. Currently, about two-thirds of breast cancers are detected by mammography. An important recent advancement in mammography has been the introduction of digital mammography.

Mammographically guided procedures performed with digital imaging include stereotactic biopsies, needle localizations, galactography, and specimen radiography. Stereotactic guidance may be used for core biopsies and for needle localizations. Galactography involves the administration of contrast through the nipple to delineate the mammary ducts. These procedures have been markedly improved with the use of digital imaging, compared to film-screen imaging. Digital imaging results in a shorter time for image display, with less patient discomfort and anxiety. Digital imaging guidance has allowed physicians and technologists to operate more efficiently, and procedure room utilization has been improved. Specimen radiography is radiography of excisional or percutaneous biopsy specimens (including mastectomy specimens) in order to document removal of the targeted lesions. Digital mammography has made it possible for radiologists, surgeons, and pathologists to view specimen radiographs simultaneously in different parts of the hospital, improving communication between multidisciplinary team members and decreasing operating room times and procedure times.

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