Digital mammography machine in Parksville

Parksville X-Ray part-owner William Allen stands next to their new, digital mammography machine. - Steven Heywood
Parksville X-Ray part-owner William Allen stands next to their new, digital mammography machine.
— image credit: Steven Heywood

A new piece of equipment at Parksville X-Ray Ltd. means more people will be able to stay closer to home for tests when they need them.

The local diagnostic facility recently purchased a digital mammography machine, replacing an older, film-based model that had reached the end of its service life.

Part-owner and technology manager William Allen says since Parksville X-Ray is in the business of performing diagnostic tests, this machine will come in handy.

“The patents we need to attract are the ones who have been told by their doctors to get a test,” Allen said. “There’s a demand in the community for people to get their results as quickly as possible.”

The new machine will help, he continued, as it processes images faster and with a much higher resolution — meaning there’s more detail to be seen by a doctor.

While the process of getting a mammography remains the same, Allen said the elimination of the film process is faster in terms of the staff work flow — and it ends the use of film-developing chemicals. Plus, if a patient moves during the process, Allen said re-takes are a much faster process, as the technicians can preview the images to determine if another one is in order.

The digital mammography technology has been around for more than a decade, said Allen. The device portability and lower price is only a recent phenomenon, making it possible to bring the unit to Parksville.

Parksville X-Ray, said Allen, is training their staff on its use and it will go into operation at the end of June, pending approval from the Radiation Protection Branch.

The service will be offered up to two days per week. For information, contact Parksville X-Ray at 250-248-3362.

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