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Women’s Imaging & Breast Center

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Terrebonne General Health System has a Women’s Imaging and Breast Center focused on patient comfort. From the welcoming atmosphere to the cotton robes replacing paper or cloth exam gowns, our mission here is more significant: to care for the whole patient.

The center offers bone densitometry scans, digital mammography, core breast biopsies, Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI), breast needle localizations, ultrasound, and an array of mammography and other breast imaging techniques. The Women’s Imaging and Breast Center is the first facility to offer BSGI technology in the Tri-Parish and New Orleans regions. This technology is located on the 1st floor of the Women’s Center with its own waiting room, dressing room, and exam rooms.

Although no woman anticipates she will get breast cancer, the truth is about 1 in every 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Most breast cancer patients did not inherit the disease from their mothers; rather, it can develop from a random genetic mutation that develops and spreads, often beyond the breast tissue and sometimes into tissues much further in the body. The Women’s Imaging and Breast Center is recognized as the first comprehensive breast care center in the region. The center is certified by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)/Mammogram Quality Standards Act (MQSA), but that’s not why the people who work there are most proud of it. For them, it’s all about the patients.


A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray used to detect breast cancer. The breast is compressed using paddles so a technologist can get a picture of the tissue. The picture can show abnormal cells or other signs of cancer. Terrebonne General uses digital mammography in which the images are immediately saved on a computer as digital images instead of being printed on film.

The benefits of digital mammography include:

  • It provides greater contrast for better detection of lesions.
  • Procedure times are faster.
  • It allows the technologist to enlarge an area in question.
  • It allows the images to be sent electronically.

To make this procedure as comfortable as possible, Terrebonne General has invested in a product called the “mammopad.” The mammopad is a foam cushion placed between the patient’s breast and the compression paddle of the mammography unit. Not only does it make the machine feel warmer, but it also allows the technologist to better position the breast tissue for a better picture.

3D Mammography

GE’s SenoClaire digital breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, provides three-dimensional imaging technology that uses a low-dose, short X-ray sweep around the compressed breast.

This imaging technique is designed to separate the tissues and to reduce the overlapping of structures, which is a limiting factor in standard 2D mammography. Women undergoing a tomosynthesis screening can expect a similar experience as a traditional 2D mammography. Tomosynthesis can also be performed on women with dense breasts in which cancer detection can be challenging. With SenoClaire, there is greater clarity in breast tissue screenings allowing Terrebonne General physicians to detect cancer earlier. Ask your physician if a SenoClaire screening would benefit you.

Automated Breast Ultrasound System (ABUS) for Dense Breasts

Invenia ABUS breast cancer screening is specifically developed to help doctors find cancers hidden in dense breast tissue, which may be missed by mammography. The procedure can be done in conjunction with your recommended annual mammogram.

The screening takes approximately 15 minutes, and provides your physician with clear 3D ultrasound images of the breast. Unlike 2D or 3D mammography, ABUS uses sound waves to create 3D images of the breast tissue. ABUS is the only FDA-approved breast cancer screening system when used in combination with mammography in women who have dense breast tissue and no prior interventions. Ask your physician if an ABUS screening would benefit you.

When Should I Have a Mammogram?

Quickly diagnosing cancer in its earliest stages often results in better treatment outcomes. Mammograms are a critical tool in the early detection of breast cancer. Women aged 40+ should have a mammogram every year. Once a patient visits Terrebonne General’s Woman’s Imaging and Breast Center she will receive a result letter. Reminder cards are also mailed prompting patients to schedule their annual mammogram.

Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI)

If the radiologist identifies an area of concern from the mammogram, the patient may need to return for additional mammography images, a breast ultrasound, a BSGI scan or a biopsy. In BSGI a patient is injected with radioactive material and her breasts scanned using a special nuclear camera. This technology will act as a powerful follow-up tool in cases where a mammogram has highlighted a suspicious mass. It can also be used for women with dense breast tissue or multiple areas of calcification. In some cases, using BSGI can eliminate or confirm the need for biopsy.

Other Types of Biopsies

Terrebonne General offers a few different options for a biopsy. Needle localization is a type of biopsy in which the radiologist inserts a needle into the suspicious area. The patient is then taken to surgery for her surgeon to remove the questionable area. Another type of biopsy is a core biopsy, when the radiologist and surgeon have determined the suspicious area may be removed without surgery. This entire procedure is done within the Women’s Imaging and Breast Center. There is no anesthesia involved, so the patient may leave right after the procedure.

Terrebonne General also offers ultrasound-guided biopsy and stereotactic biopsy. A stereotactic-guided biopsy and/or needle localization is a procedure using a digital stereotactic mammo-machine, which takes 2D images of the breast tissue. It then calculates exactly where the radiologist or surgeon should insert the biopsy needle to get the best sample of tissue for review. Although ultrasounds are usually associated with pregnancy, they can also be used to help with a breast tissue biopsy. Terrebonne General has an ultrasound technologist certified in breast ultrasonography and is one of only 66 certified in the state.


Terrebonne General’s ultrasound machine is not just used for breast care. It can take 3-dimensional images for a good look at any suspicious area in a woman’s body. Ultrasounds can be used to scan the pelvis, thyroid, or other parts of the body to look for abnormalities. These cutting-edge imaging machines can give you a picture of a developing baby or help doctors diagnose cysts and tumors with incredible accuracy.

Bone Density

While at the Imaging Center, a woman can also have her bone mineral density measured. A bone densitometer can tell if a patient has enough calcium in her bones. This will help diagnose osteoporosis, a disease that can lead to brittle bones and dangerous fractures in older women. A bone density test is a painless procedure, much like an X-ray, and takes only a few minutes.

The procedure consists of a patient lying on a padded table. The lumbar spine and both hips are scanned with X-rays for a total of 10 to 15 minutes. The test uses special x-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other minerals are packed into a segment or portion of the bone.

Women older than 65 who have family history of osteoporosis and with some medical conditions should have the test. Many women choose to have a mammogram and bone density scan done during the same visit.

Appointments are available through primary care doctors or calling Terrebonne General at (985) 850-6052.
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