LewisGale Hospital Montgomery expands breast care program with advanced technology

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 3:52 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, Co. (WDBJ) - Some new technology has arrived at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery’s Imagining Center.

“We’re adding a 3D mammography unit. This unit also includes capabilities to do procedures for breast biopsies as well as an additional technology of contrast-enhanced mammography (CEM),” said Dr. Brandon Langlinais, a radiologist at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery.

The hospital is also investing in a new breast biopsy system providing advanced diagnostic technology for patients with breast health concerns. The system allows radiologists to view the breast tissue sample in real-time as the biopsy is taking place.

They’re the first hospital in the New River Valley to offer CEM to help patients with breast care.

“The only differences with this new technology if we’re going to do the contrast-enhanced mammography (CEM), we’re going to do an injection of contrast similar to what we do for CT-- this would be only for certain select patients that will need that, which is women with dense breasts, typically,” said Dr. Langlinais.

Doctors say the new tech is a cost-effective alternative to an MRI. Studies show it’s more accurate for detecting breast cancer and can help lower the number of benign biopsies being performed.

“It also allows us to see if what we consider to be indeterminate lesions may allow us to determine if this is a benign lesion that doesn’t need a biopsy, which may prevent a procedure from happening that may be not necessary,” said Dr. Langlinais.

Compared to 2D imaging, 3D mammography images show more of the tissue, so radiologists can see behind certain structures to get a better understanding of what they see in the tissue.

Before doctors had to collect a series of samples, remove them from the device, and X-ray them to make sure the samples were good for diagnosis. The new breast biopsy system allows for tissue acquisition, real-time imaging, and post-biopsy analysis in one tool.

“Makes it a lot easier for us as the performing radiologist to do those procedures. It’s more comfortable and a little bit more time-efficient,” said Dr. Langlinais.

Doctors say treatment will still be the same -- quick and easy, no more than 15 minutes.

“We’re also looking at creative ways on how with this new technology we can open Saturday, availability and things like that, so we can see more women earlier,” said Devin Tobin, LewisGale Hospital Montgomery’s chief operations officer.

“We’ve seen over the last year and a half of the pandemic a lot of women and men have missed a variety of screening exams. So mammography is one of those and so for me to get those patients back into the system,” said Dr. Langlinais.

“The investment in this technology also gives us the opportunity to provide this care right here at home in the New River Valley,” said Tobin.

Health officials say with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this news is right on time.

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