The technical aspects of adapting add-on digital stereotactic equipment for use with patient lying horizontally
© Current Science Ltd 2000
Published: 1 October 2000
Digital stereotactic-guided biopsies using add-ons to conventional mammogram machines are usually performed with the patient sitting upright. We have adapted the procedure so that the patient lies horizontally on a fully reclining chair. The mammogram machine is placed vertically as if for a conventional craniocaudal view; however, as the patient is horizontal breast compression is in a lateral plane. The patient (lying semi-prone or semi-supine) and the trolley are positioned according to the site and side of the lesion to bring the affected breast closest to the machine with the lesion "uppermost". This ensures maximum depth for needle movement. Our experience is with over 200 screening patients using a GE DMR Mammogram Machine with a Senovision digital add-on. The machine is in a 3.88 × 2.96 m room previously used for conventional stereotaxis.
The horizontal position means that the patient cannot faint and is more likely to keep still. Additionally, the patient does not look directly down on the procedure and her head does not obstruct the tube gantry.
The procedure requires a trolley or reclining chair that can be elevated enough to put the breast in the mammogram machine. A conventional lateral view is always taken at assessment to plan the site of the lesion.