20th December 2017

New state-of-the-art digital mammography machine officially opened

20th December 2017

A state-of-the-art digital mammography machine, which provides high quality mammogram images with a reduced radiation dose, has been officially opened by the Chairman of East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC).

Cllr Colin Belsey opens new mammography machine with radiology team and Professor David Howlett, Consultant Radiologist

Cllr Colin Belsey opens new mammography machine with radiology team and Professor David Howlett, Consultant Radiologist

The new machine, a GE Pristina Senograph, was the third of its kind to be installed in the UK with Eastbourne DGH being the first symptomatic breast unit in the UK to have one. The new machine will help improve the diagnosis of patients with suspected breast cancer.

The machine provides high quality mammogram images with a reduced radiation dose which is of enormous potential benefit to patients. The improved quality of images enables radiologists to diagnose small or subtle cancers, particularly in younger patients and those with mammographically dense breasts.

Councillor Colin Belsey, Chairman of East Sussex HOSC said: “I was delighted to be invited to Eastbourne District General Hospital to cut the ribbon on this latest mammography equipment. Talking with the surgeons and nurses, it will certainly make a difference to the service they are able to give. Once again we see our local hospitals in East Sussex investing in the very latest equipment to help save lives. To think that we are only the third hospital trust in the country to have this machine is fantastic.”

Professor David Howlett, Consultant Radiologist said: “We were pleased Councillor Belsey was able to officially open this technologically advanced machine. It will help us improve the detection of cancers and develop the service we are able to offer local patients. The new machine also has an additional diagnostic facility, tomosynthesis, which improves visualisation of breast tissue by taking multiple image slices to help build up a detailed multi-dimensional image of the breast.”

In 2018, a further diagnostic tool will be fitted to the unit, a stereotactic biopsy facility. This will enable radiologists or mammographers to undertake stereotactic mammogram guided breast biopsies, currently local patients have to travel to Brighton for these procedures.