OMC leaders buy new ‘breast MRI’

Olympic Medical Center commissioners this week approved the purchase of a new “breast magnetic resonance imaging system” that will provide peninsula doctors with superior diagnostic capabilities.
With tax, the cost of the new MRI system is approximately $200,000.
Diagnostic Imaging director Deby King said the new equipment will help OMC meet its goal of offering a “continuum of care” to women on the peninsula. Prior to the purchase, peninsula patients who were at high risk for breast cancer or who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and required additional imaging had to travel for a breast MRI.
King said the new equipment won’t replace mammograms or other diagnostic tools that are used for screening. Because of the expense of using the new breast MRI, it will be primarily utilized for those at especially high risk. “It’s usually one of the last steps before surgery,” King said.
The new “Sentinelle Vanguard for GE” takes advantage of the souped-up capabilities of OMC’s new $1.3 million state-of-the-art MRI, which was installed at the Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles in November.
King said the new equipment will help doctors find what may be otherwise missed. “Everybody’s focused on the big lesion,” she said. “There could be other small lesions in the breast or in the other breast. “Undiagnosed disease occurs in 5-30 percent of these patients, which is where breast MRI imaging comes in.”
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