Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital recognize the unique needs of women of all ages and provides comprehensive women’s health services to help women with the changing medical issues and complexities as they move through the stages in life from maternity to menopause and beyond. We offer a wide-range of radiology for women and procedures using medical imaging for women that address a variety of women’s health issues ranging from breast cancer and osteoporosis to uterine fibroids.
Our team of experts in radiology for women uses the latest medical imaging techniques to detect tissue abnormalities, treat health problems and avoid future concerns. Our commitment is to provide medical care and radiology for women in an environment that respects their health needs and works to help them achieve optimum health and wellness.
Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital offer the following medical imaging services and radiology for women:
Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital offer the latest technology in magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, of the breast to detect cancer or other abnormalities of the breast. Breast MRI in Atlanta is a noninvasive test that is used to create detailed pictures of the breast, surrounding tissues and the chest wall. Unlike an x-ray which uses radiation, MRI of the breast uses powerful magnets and radio waves, neither of which is harmful to your body. A physician’s order is required to have an MRI of the breast.
As one of the leading providers of breast MRI in Atlanta, Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital remind women that breast MRI is not a replacement for a mammogram. An MRI of the breast usually is performed when your doctor needs more information than a mammogram, ultrasound or clinical breast exam can provide. Breast MRI sometimes is used as a screening tool for breast cancer in women who are at high risk of developing the disease. In some cases, MRI of the breast is used during a breast biopsy procedure.
A breast MRI will produce hundreds of images of your breast. Single MRI images are called slices. They can be stored on a computer or printed out using film. A radiologist who is specially trained in reviewing your images will promptly provide a report to your physician about the findings of your breast MRI at Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital. Your physician will share the results with you.
Should your breast MRI reveal cancer, an Emory Decatur Hospital/Emory Hillandale Hospital Nurse Navigator is available to assist you from the time you see our breast care specialists for a problem until treatment begins. The Nurse Navigator answers questions and guides you through the process as quickly as possible, working directly with your primary care physician to assist with referrals and breast care treatment planning.
A breast MRI is a painless procedure that requires little or no preparation. You can follow your normal daily diet and routine before having your test. Wear your normal clothes. You will be given a hospital gown to change into for your scan, and you will need to remove any jewelry or other accessories such as hair pins or clips. Metal and electronic objects are not allowed in the exam room because they interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI equipment.
If you have a fear confined spaces (claustrophobia) or have difficulty lying still, tell your doctor before the scan. He or she may be able to prescribe a mild sedative to help you relax during the procedure.
Your breast MRI will begin with the technologist placing an IV needle in your hand or arm. You will be given a special dye or contrast material using the IV. This is similar to what you may feel when getting your blood drawn. This dye helps the radiologist see certain areas of your breast more clearly. You will lie face down on your stomach on a narrow table with your breast hanging freely in a cushioned opening. Your breast will be surrounded by a device called a breast coil, with is the signal receiver that works with the MRI unit to create the images. The table slides into the MRI machine for the test.
The machine makes various loud whirling, thumping and bumping noises. These are quite normal. You will be given earplugs to use during your breast MRI to help cut down on the noise. The person conducting the exam is in another room but he or she can communicate with you using an intercom system.
An MRI of the breast usually lasts from 30 minutes to 1 ½ hours.
When your procedure is complete, you may be asked to wait while the technologist checks the images to be sure they are accurate. You may resume your normal daily activities when your test is completed.
A detailed report from the radiologist will be sent to your physician, who will share the results with you.
Your physician will contact Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital to schedule your breast MRI for you.
If your breast MRI is at Emory Decatur Hospital, go to the hospital’s central registration area.
If your breast MRI is being performed at Emory Hillandale Hospital, go to the hospital’s registration area.
EEmory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital use breast ultrasound to create images of your breast tissue using high-frequency sound waves. Also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, it involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Breast ultrasound does not involve radiation. Breast ultrasound also is sometimes used during a breast biopsy.
Breast ultrasound may be used with mammography or by itself. It often is used to find and classify breast lesions in the following types of women:
A breast ultrasound can detect cysts, benign lesions and malignant lesions or breast cancer. A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician, who will share the results with you.
There are no special preparations for your breast ultrasound. On the day of your breast ultrasound, do not use any lotions or powders on your breasts. It may be helpful to wear a two-piece outfit since you will be asked to undress from the waist up.
Your physician will contact Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital to schedule your breast ultrasound for you.
If your breast ultrasound is at Emory Decatur Hospital, go to the Comprehensive Breast Center at Emory Decatur Hospital, which is in the 2665 Professional Building, Suite 120.
If your breast ultrasound is being performed at Emory Hillandale Hospital, go to the entrance of the Comprehensive Breast Center. Parking is available at this entrance.
Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital offer state-of-the-art, digital technology to perform a screening and diagnostic breast mammogram. A mammogram procedure results in a special breast X-ray that can help to detect breast changes that are too small or too deep to feel. A mammogram screening is usually considered safe, quick, and relatively painless. Breast mammogram helps in aiding early diagnosis of breast cancer.
Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital offer digital mammogram screening, which provides:
Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital are happy to offer both 2-D and 3-D Mammography. 3-D mammography creates cross-sectional images that give radiologists better visualization of breast tissue. When used in conjunction with 2-D mammography, 3-D mammography can help reduce false positives and improve cancer detection. 3-D mammography is performed on the same machine as 2-D mammography, so no additional compression is needed. To schedule a mammogram, call 404.501.SCHD or click here. You can request a 3-D mammogram when making your appointment. Additional costs may apply.
A screening mammogram is advised for women 40 years of age and older without breast concerns. You don’t need a physician’s order for this breast mammogram procedure but you should have the name of your referring physician available. This appointment will take approximately 20 minutes. You will be asked to undress from the waist up and be given a gown. Be prepared to answer detailed questions concerning your personal and family health history. The technologist will position each breast and take images. The breast X-ray images are viewed immediately for technical quality.
3D mammograms use low dose x-rays to create a three dimensional image of the breast. The scanner rotates partially around the breast and takes images from many different angles (typically 10 to 15). The breast must be compressed as it is with a conventional mammogram. Despite taking more images, 3D mammography does not require any more radiation than a conventional mammogram. After all images are taken, sophisticated computer programs assemble them into a three dimensional representation of the breast. The radiologist can then view the breast tissue in narrow slices, similarly to CT scan images.
A diagnostic mammogram requires a referring physician’s order. This breast mammogram procedure is used when you are experiencing breast pain, have a breast lump, have had a stereotactic or ultrasound guided biopsy in the past year, have nipple discharge that is clear or bloody, or have a personal history of breast cancer in the last two years. Your experience will be mostly the same as your screening mammogram, although your visit may require additional time.
A stereotactic breast biopsy is a breast biopsy that uses a mammogram’s images to help guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of the suspicious abnormality. Learn more about this mammography-guided biopsy.
Some women say they avoid mammogram because they don’t know what to expect during a mammogram. On average, only two to four screening mammograms of every 1,000 lead to a diagnosis of cancer. About 10 percent of women who have a mammogram will need more tests, but most only will need a more focused mammogram. Only eight to 10 percent of those women will need a biopsy, and most (80 percent) of those biopsies will not be cancer.
This information from Emory Decatur Hospital, Emory Hillandale Hospital and the American Cancer Society will help you know what to expect during a mammogram. Read more for information on a mammography.
Schedule your mammogram when your breasts are the least tender. This will allow for optimal compression in the x-ray equipment. The most likely time for this would be the week after the onset of your menstrual cycle. Be sure to discuss any new findings or problems in your breasts with your doctor or nurse before having the mammogram.
If you have had previous mammograms at a facility other than Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital, it is helpful to bring your images so our radiologists and technologists can compare your images and give you the best diagnostic evaluation possible.
On the day of your mammogram, don’t use powders, deodorant or body cream on your chest and underarm areas. Dress comfortably. If possible, a two piece outfit is best since you will be required to undress above the waist. We will provide a wrap for you to wear.
Always describe any breast symptoms or problems you are having to the technologist who is doing your mammogram. Be prepared to describe any related medical history such as surgeries, hormone use or any breast cancer that you or a family member have had.
Before having any type of imaging test, tell your radiology technologist if you are breast-feeding or if you think you might be pregnant.
A technologist will position your breasts on the x-ray machine for the mammogram. Most technologists are women. You and the technologist are the only people in the exam room during your mammogram.
The whole procedure takes about 20 minutes. The actual breast compression only lasts a few seconds.
You may feel discomfort when each breast is compressed. If you are in pain, tell the technologist so she can try to make the compression more comfortable for you. If you are still having periods, try not to schedule your mammogram when your breasts are likely to be tender, as they may be just before or during your period.
All mammogram facilities now are required to send your results to you within 30 days. In most cases, you will be contacted within five working days if there is a problem with your mammogram.
Read more for answers to frequently asked questions about having a mammogram at Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital.
Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital perform mammography-guided biopsy or stereotactic needle biopsy when abnormalities that can’t be felt (nonpalpable) are identified by a mammogram. The abnormality is generally located on a routine screening mammogram. Mammography-guided biopsies use large (core) or small (fine) needles to obtain samples of the abnormal breast tissue. The physician uses a mammogram image from several different angles to create a virtual three-dimensional (stereotactic) picture of the abnormal area. This picture is used to guide the needle to the biopsy site where the mammography-guided biopsy takes place.
Mammography-guided biopsy of the breast is performed when a mammogram shows a breast abnormality such as:
Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital perform mammography-guided or stereotactic needle biopsy when abnormalities that can’t be felt (non-palable) are identified by a mammogram. General anesthesia is not used for mammography-guided biopsies. Usually the physician will inject a local anesthetic at the needle insertion site to numb the area. You will feel a stinging sensation when this is done. The physician will wait until the area is numb before proceeding with the biopsy.
Your physician will use special imaging techniques to be able to see the abnormal spot.You will lie face down on a table with your breast suspended through an opening. Mammograms then are taken of the suspicious site. A computer is used to guide the needle to the site for sample removal. At this point, you should only feel a pressure sensation as the needle is guided to the biopsy site.
If the abnormality can be seen easily on ultrasound, the biopsy may be performed while you lie on your back and ultrasound imaging is used to see the abnormality.
After the biopsy, you may experience pain or discomfort at the site and you may have mild bruising at the site. Because of this, your physician may suggest limiting your activities for 24 to 48 hours after your biopsy.
The samples are examined in the laboratory by a pathologist to determine if cancer cells are present. A detailed report from the lab will be sent to your physician, who will share the results with you.
Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital offers mammography-guided biopsy in Atlanta at our Diagnostic Breast Center.
Your physician will contact Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital to schedule your mammography-guided biopsy.
Your mammography-guided biopsy will be performed at the Diagnostic Breast Center, which is in the 2665 Professional Building on the North Decatur Road campus.
As women age, their bones change. At Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital in Atlanta, an osteoporosis screening may lead to a diagnosis of osteoporosis, which means bone mass or density is lost, resulting in pain or an increased likelihood of fractures. Osteoarthritis symptoms include joint that become stiffer and less flexible as fluid in the joints decreases and the cartilage begins to rub together and erode.
Osteoporosis, the most common type of bone disease, is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. An estimated 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and another 18 million have low bone mass, or osteopenia, which may eventually lead to osteoporosis if not treated. Many women can benefit from osteoporosis screening, as researchers estimate that about one out of five American women over the age of 50 have osteoporosis. About half of all women over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture of the hip, wrist, or vertebra (bones of the spine).
Minerals may deposit in some joints (calcification). This is common in the shoulder. Hip and knee joints may begin to lose structure (degenerative changes). The finger joints lose cartilage and the bones thicken slightly. Finger joint changes are more common in women and may be hereditary. Some joints, such as the ankle, typically change very little with aging. Many of these bone changes can lead to osteoarthritis and diagnosis of osteoporosis.
Emory Decatur Hospital’s team of experts provides osteoporosis screening and osteoporosis treatment for symptoms to help:
In Atlanta, osteoporosis treatment at Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital includes:
Your healthcare provider may order a bone mineral density test, sometimes called a bone densitometry test or a DXA scan, to help confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital also offer bone densitometry examinations in Atlanta to follow bone changes and monitor the effects of age, diet or treatments of your bone status.
Osteoporosis is the most common type of bone disease and occurs when the body fails to form enough new bone, when too much old bone is reabsorbed by the body, or both. This thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time is a skeletal disease that affects men and women as it weakens the bones, making them brittle and more susceptible to fractures. Any bone in the body can be affected by osteoporosis, but the most common place for fractures are in the back, hips and wrist.
Unfortunately, most people do not realize they have osteoporosis until a bone fracture occurs. Early diagnosis using bone densitometry examinations and treatment may help to lessen the risk of broken bones. Those at risk for developing osteoporosis include:
If your bone densitometry test in Atlanta at Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital show that you have osteoporosis, medications are available that can help minimize bone loss. Your physician will determine your treatment plan according to your health history. It always is recommended that you continue to exercise, get plenty of calcium and limit use of alcohol and cigarettes.
There is no preparation for a bone densitometry test. You can follow your normal daily diet and routine before having your bone densitometry test. You will need to remove any jewelry before the test and let the technologist know if you may be pregnant. In most cases, you won’t be asked to undress.
Once in the room, you will be asked to lie on a table while a scanner arm passes over you. While you are being scanned, the amounts of bone mineral in your spine and hips are measured. This gives a calculation known as a T-Score, which your doctor will use to make your diagnosis. Bone densitometry examinations take approximately 15 minutes. You will be able to resume all normal activity following your bone densitometry test.
Your bone densitometry can be scheduled in one of two ways. Your physician can contact Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital to schedule your bone densitometry test for you. Or, your physician can send Emory Decatur Hospital/Emory Hillandale Hospital his or her orders for the test and you can schedule your own bone densitometry when we have received your doctor’s orders. To schedule your bone densitometry, call 404.501.2660.
If your bone densitometry is being performed at the Diagnostic Breast Center at Emory Decatur Hospital, go to the 2665 Professional Building.
If your bone densitometry test is at the Breast Center at Emory Hillandale Hospital, go to the 5900 Professional Building.
Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital perform kyphoplasty for women, a minimally invasive treatment that can repair spinal fractures in the body of a vertebra. When a vertebra fractures, the usual rectangular shape of the bone becomes compressed and distorted, causing pain. The fracture causes it to collapse and the spinal column above it to develop an abnormal forward curve. These fractures can be caused by osteoporosis , certain forms of cancer that weaken the bones or benign lesions. Kyphoplasty is most often used to treat fractures caused by osteoporosis.
In kyphoplasty for women, X-rays are used to show the collapsed bones and to guide the physician to the site of the fractured bone. Orthopaedic balloons are inserted and used to lift the fractured bone, returning it to the correct position and shape. A special bone cement then is injected to hold the vertebra in place. The balloons are removed during the procedure.
When the balloons are not needed to restore the shape of the fractured bone, a similar procedure known as vertebroplasty may be performed. Vertebroplasty involves using x-rays for guidance to inject a special cement mixture through a hollow needle into the fractured bone.
Some patients experience immediate pain relief, while most people report their pain is gone or significantly better within 48 hours.
Because kyphoplasty for women is performed under local anesthesia, you should plan to have someone drive you home after your procedure. Do not take any blood thinners or aspirin three days prior to your procedure. Be sure to ask your physician about any medications you are taking or any questions your might have about your procedure.
Do not eat or drink anything four to six hours before your procedure.
The procedure usually takes less than one hour and may require an overnight hospital stay as determined by your doctor.
You should rest after you get home for six to eight hours before resuming normal activities. After your kyphoplasty procedure, your nurse will give you any other after-care instructions.
Use these preparation and care instructions as a guide. A detailed report will be sent to your physician, who will share the results with you.
Your physician will contact Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital to schedule your kyphoplasty procedure for you.
Your kyphoplasty will be performed at the Imaging Center at Emory Decatur Hospital.
Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital perform vertebroplasty for women, a minimally invasive treatment that can repair spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis, cancer or benign lesions. When a vertebra fractures, the usual rectangular shape of the bone becomes compressed and distorted, causing pain.
In vertebroplasty for women, a needle is inserted through the skin and into the crushed vertebra. A special bone cement is injected into the bone to stabilize it. Vertebroplasty for women is performed under local anesthesia. Vertebroplasty for women typically is recommended after simpler treatments such as bed rest, a back brace or pain medication have been ineffective or when medications begin to cause other problems.
A similar procedure known as kyphoplasty may be performed. Kyphoplasty involves the use of special orthopaedic balloons to lift and restore the shape of the fractured bone before the cent is inserted into the bone. It is most often used when the fractures are caused by osteoporosis.
You should plan to have someone drive you home after your vertebroplasty procedure, which usually takes less than one hour.
Do not take any blood thinners or aspirin three days prior to your procedure. Be sure to ask your physician about any medications you are taking or any questions your might have about your procedure.
Do not eat or drink anything four to six hours before your procedure.
You should rest after you get home for six to eight hours before resuming normal activities. After your vertebroplasty procedure, your nurse will give you any other after-care instructions.
Use these preparation and care instructions as a guide. A detailed report will be sent to your physician, who will share the results with you.
Your physician will contact Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital to schedule your vertebroplasty procedure for you.
Your vertebroplasty will be performed at Emory Decatur Hospital, where you will need to go to the hospital’s central registration area.
Ultrasound imaging is used for many different tests because it can give your doctor information that may help in your diagnosis and treatment. Most soft tissue organs can be studied with ultrasound or sonogram. For example, the gallbladder may be checked for gallstones. The kidneys, liver, and pancreas can be studied for tumors or cysts. Blood vessels can be checked for swelling or blockage. Sonograms are also used to evaluate pregnancy. A sonogram is used to see the growth, position, and number of babies in the mother’s womb.
A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations such as ultrasound or sonogram, will analyze the images from your ultrasound. He or she will send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician, who will share the results of your ultrasound or sonogram with you.
If you are having an upper abdominal ultrasound at Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital, you will be asked not to eat or drink for 8 hours before your exam. When having a pelvic ultrasound, you will need to drink 32 ounces to fill your bladder prior to your appointment time. There may be some discomfort on your full bladder, but this is necessary to obtain the best imaging to evaluate your pelvic organs. You will be asked to empty your bladder after the exam is completed.
You may be asked to change into a hospital gown, primarily to protect your clothes from the gel that will be applied to your skin during the exam. In most cases, there will be no need to remove jewelry, watches or dental wear.
The registered ultrasonographer or sonographer, who has been specially trained will operate the equipment and perform your exam. They will ask you to lie down on an exam table. After a gel is applied to your skin, a hand-held device called a transducer will be guided slowly across your skin. The sonographer then will record images that appear on the monitor.
Some ultrasounds, such as a transvaginal ultrasound, require the transducer to be inserted into your body to obtain images.
When your ultrasound is complete, you may be asked to remain on the examination table briefly while the technologist reviews the ultrasound images for clarity. Occasionally more images may be required by the radiologist.
A report will be sent to your doctor, who will share the results with you.
Your ultrasound can be scheduled in one of two ways. Your physician can contact Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital to schedule your ultrasound for you. Or, your physician can send Emory Decatur Hospital/Emory Hillandale Hospital his or her orders for the test and you can schedule your own ultrasound when we have received your doctor’s orders. To schedule your ultrasound, call 404.501.2660.
If your ultrasound will be performed at the Diagnostic Imaging Center at Emory Decatur Hospital,
When uterine fibroid detection occurs, your physician may be able to treat the uterine fibroids with medicine or you may need to have surgery for treating uterine fibroids. For those uterine fibroids that do require surgical treatment, Emory Decatur Hospital offers uterine fibroid embolization or UFE.
UFE is an alternative to major surgery for some women who have experienced uterine fibroid detection. This less invasive outpatient method of treating uterine fibroids takes approximately one hour and is effective in about 90 percent of women, relieving pain, bloating and heavy bleeding due to uterine fibroids. Women who want to become pregnant should not have this procedure.
Also known as uterine artery embolization, UFE is performed under local anesthesia by a specially trained interventional radiologist who uses state-of-the-art imaging methods to guide the procedure. The uterine fibroids are destroyed by blocking the arteries that carry blood to them. Recovery from treating uterine fibroids with UFE usually takes about a week, allowing women to return to a normal lifestyle.
Always tell your doctor if you could be pregnant and what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements or herbs you bought without a prescription. Before your UFE, you may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), warfarin (Coumadin), and any other drugs that make it hard for your blood to clot.
On the day of your UFE, you usually will be asked not to drink or eat anything for six to eight hours before your procedure. UFE is usually done under local anesthesia which means you are awake but don’t feel pain.
Your doctor will prescribe pain medication after your procedure, and you will be asked to lie flat for four to six hours after the procedure. Pelvic cramps are common for the first 24 hours after the procedure and may last for two weeks.
Recovery from uterine fibroid treatment usually takes about a week, allowing women to return to a normal lifestyle.
Your physician will contact Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale Hospital to schedule your uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) for you.
If your UFE procedure is at Emory Decatur Hospital, go to the hospital’s central registration area.
If your UFE procedure is being performed at Emory Hillandale Hospital, go to the hospital’s registration area.