UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Southwestern Center for Breast Care has installed the somo.v Automated Breast Ultrasound, a fully automated 3-D breast ultrasound machine from U-Systems in San Jose, Calif.
The main advantage of the somo.v is that multiple images of breast tissue can be reviewed on a 3-D workstation, said Phil Evans, MD, professor of radiology and director of the Center for Breast Care. Data can be captured in three dimensions as opposed to a flat image, and physicians can review images from any angle, uncovering areas that previously might have remained unseen. They also can review multiple views simultaneously, he added.
For an automated ultrasound, the scanner is placed on the breast and the technologist presses a button to begin the preview scan, which determines the density of the breast in order to set the appropriate imaging parameters. This is followed by the actual image acquisition scan, in which 400 to 500 images of each breast are obtained, according to Evans.
The scan itself lasts about 60 seconds, and Evans emphasized “there’s no compression” as with a traditional breast x-ray, or mammogram. The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes, he added.