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Wishlist Funded – Lateral Arm Accessory

They say, ‘women come in all shapes and sizes.’ This couldn’t be truer for the Breast Imaging Radiographers at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, who this week received a very special piece of equipment, funded by Wishlist.

Although seemingly a small device, Senior Radiographer Pamela Cunningham explains how the $14,025 ‘Lateral Arm Accessory’ will make a very big difference to small breasted patients needing a mammogram guided biopsy within the Medical Imaging Department at SCUH. 

PICTURE: Pamela Cunningham, Senior Radiographer and Melanie Williams, Clinical Manager Radiology with the Lateral Arm Accessory, which attaches to the mammography unit.

“When a patient presents with a breast lesion, we could perform the biopsy via an MRI, Ultrasound or mammography, with the first preference always an ultrasound, as its more comfortable for the patient. However, if the lesions are particularly small or present as calcification’s, the patient is usually required to have a mammogram guided biopsy.”

 Mammogram Guided Biopsy as the name suggests is a procedure where the breast is compressed between two firm surfaces to spread the breast tissue, ready for an x-ray which guides where the breast tissue sample is to be taken.

“Commonly the lesions we are searching for are very small. It can be like looking for a grain of salt in a bowl full of jelly. Accuracy pinpointing the lesion and collecting a sufficient sample size can be difficult.” said Mrs Cunningham.  

Lateral Arm Accessory.

Patients in these circumstances have historically needed to be referred externally or would sometimes elect to go straight to surgery to have the lesion biopsied or removed.

“With the lateral arm accessory, our options have expanded. It is now possible for the biopsy to be taken from either side of the breast, rather than just the top. This makes the procedure more accurate and comfortable for the patient.”

“Our department really are excited that we have received this piece of equipment. It means that ANY woman who comes here for a biopsy under mammogram guidance will be able to have the procedure performed at SCUH, regardless of where the lesion is positioned or the size of their breast.” Mrs Cunningham said.

The Lateral Arm Accessory was funded by our Wishlist Regular Givers.