BREAST IMAGING / MAMMOGRAPHY
The Vanderbilt Breast Center was established in 1991 to provide convenient and efficient diagnosis and treatment for a growing patient population. In response to ongoing growth, the Breast Center moved to an expanded and renovated space in the Medical Center’s new One Hundred Oaks site in 2009. A multidisciplinary group of physicians and advanced practice nurses work together so that patients receive the highest level of care from providers specializing in breast disease. This multidisciplinary team is made up of the following medical specialties: Diagnostic Imaging and Intervention, Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Pathology, Medical Oncology, and Radiation Therapy. There are also support services from Plastic Surgery, Psychiatry, and genetic counseling for cancer patients.
Approximately 17,000 screening and diagnostic mammograms are performed annually utilizing state of the art digital mammography equipment, including computer aided detection. Over 5,000 imaging studies from outlying facilities are also interpreted by the Breast Imaging Section each year to accommodate the many patients who are referred to the National Cancer Institute and National Comprehensive Cancer Network affiliated Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center. Many patients also bring breast imaging evaluations performed at other institutions to obtain a “second opinion”. In addition to mammography, approximately 3,000 breast ultrasonographic evaluations are performed annually, as well as over 200 breast magnetic resonance imaging studies generated by a dedicated 1.5 Tesla magnet located in the Breast Center. Other imaging modalities (including computed tomography, positron emission tomography, and nuclear medicine) are easily accessible in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences. The imaging section of the Vanderbilt Breast Center has earned the American College of Radiology’s highest level of accreditation, Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.
As a comprehensive breast center, other diagnostic services are provided in addition to mammography, ultrasound, MRI and clinical breast examination. Cyst aspirations and fine-needle aspiration biopsies are performed under US or clinical guidance. Imaging directed fourteen gauge core needle biopsies are performed along with 7-14 gauge vacuum assisted core needle biopsies under sonographic, stereotactic or MRI guidance. Preoperative image guided needle/wire localizations are routinely performed for accurate excision of non-palpable imaging abnormalities on the main campus.
The Breast Imaging Section offers numerous research endeavors and educational opportunities. Radiology residents and women’s imaging fellows are scheduled daily at the Breast Center and medical students are frequently present in conjunction with their rotations through the represented clinical specialties.