A Conversation with a Mammography Technologist about the MammoPad breast cushion
After 10 years as a technologist, I've seen my responsibilities change enormously. With all the technical advances and increased regulations, I now have more to do than ever. When I learned that my facility was introducing MammoPad® cushions - a soft, warm, single-use foam cushion cleared by the FDA - my first reaction was "Great, just what I need. More to do."
Then I learned that a MammoPad cushion not only provides patient comfort but also will assist in positioning my patients. The MammoPad cushion relaxes most women ensuring more compression of the breast. With benefits like these, I had to learn more.
Optimized Positioning means Better Imaging
Like many technologists, I understand that MammoPad cushions makes mammography more comfortable, but I had a few questions about positioning and imaging with the breast cushion.
"Will the MammoPad breast cushion prevent me from accessing the chest wall?"
I was surprised to learn that a MammoPad cushion actually made it easier to access the chest wall. When patient's ribs are cushioned by a MammoPad cushion, they have no trouble leaning in for compression. And because a MammoPad cushion feels warm against the chest, the muscles are more likely to relax, which means more tissue acquisition.
"How is it possible that MammoPad breast cushions makes positioning easier?"
I noticed that a MammoPad cushion surface has a soft, grip-like effect which helps immobilize the breast. This reduces the small amount of retraction of the UOQ or the IMF while compressing.
"Will MammoPad breast cushion make it more difficult to image the inframammary fold?"
One thing's for sure, MammoPad cushion takes the pressure off a patient's ribs and muscles. That's why patients are able to hold still and not pull away, making it easier to image the IMF.
"Will I need to worry about achieving sufficient compression?"
In clinical studies, women were able to tolerate more compression when a MammoPad cushion was used.
"Will a MammoPad breast cushion affect the overall quality of my images?"
Leading physicists have extensively tested MammoPad cushions on both analog and digital equipment, proving it has no adverse effect on image quality or dosage.