June 21, 2010


COLUMBIA, Tenn.— The Women's Center at Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) has expanded its services by offering women at risk for breast cancer the option of screening and diagnosis with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MRI-guided breast biopsy, according to Women's Center Coordinator Dana Salters.

We are among the first in Middle Tennessee to use this technology that offers women a more precise and minimally invasive option for breast biopsy when compared to traditional biopsy procedures,” said Salters.

On June 18, the Women’s Center began utilizing the ATEC® Emerald Breast Biopsy and Excision System from Hologic to safely and quickly biopsy what is seen under MRI guidance. This state-of-the-art, vacuum-assisted technology allows a larger, more intact tissue sample to be taken, which increases the accuracy for diagnosis. The speed and accuracy of the ATEC results in an average total procedure time of 33 minutes. The ATEC system can also sample multiple lesions in the same breast during a single procedure, eliminating the need for patients to return to the Women’s Center multiple times for the same procedure.

This compassionate biopsy procedure requires no post-biopsy stitches, allowing patients to return to most daily activities immediately following the procedure. The ATEC system also has a unique device feature that allows continuous delivery of local anesthetic during the biopsy procedure to increase patient comfort and ultimately keep the patient’s safety and health as the highest priority.

MRI gained wide acceptance in 2006 as an approved secondary breast cancer screening tool for high-risk women when used with mammography after endorsement by the American College of Radiology and the American Cancer Society (ACS). The released guidelines state that “women who face a high risk of breast cancer should undergo an annual MRI to detect the disease in addition to a mammogram.” According to ACS statistics, 10 percent of the 1.8 million breast biopsies performed annually include high-risk women.

The Women's Center at MRMC places the highest priority on offering the most innovative and comprehensive medical services. This is the latest tool added to aid in the detection and treatment of breast cancer and complements digital mammography, breast ultrasound and stereotactic  biopsy.

Imaging is the single best method for detecting breast cancer early. Screening mammograms may be conducted at the Women’s Center without a physician’s order. For more information about breast health services, call 931.540.4166.