Valley Baptist introduces new breast exam equipment

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HARLINGEN – A new ultrasound machine will soon provide greater detection for women getting their breast screenings.

Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen will soon employ its new Automated Breast Ultrasound to provide greater detection in women who have dense breast tissue.

“The intent of that unit is to help our technologists provide even more information to our interpreting radiologists,” said Joey Govea, director of imaging services.

About 65% of women in the Valley have dense breast tissue, making ABUS especially important here.

“As far as imaging those patients it can be a challenge,” Govea said. “What has the world of radiology done to address this?”

Well, first Valley Baptist brought 3D mammography to the Valley, “so that was step one,” he added.

This type of mammography helps peak around these shadows to see what’s real and what’s not real, he said. It can determine what’s dense breast tissue and what’s a lesion.

“ABUS is the next level for that,” he said.

The difference between mammography and ABUS? Mammography uses X-ray and radiation, whereas ABUS uses ultrasound waves.

“I need to also make sure that everybody knows that ABUS does not replace mammography,” Govea said. “It’s more of a complement to mammography.”