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the worry, the pain, the wait... Breast Biopsy

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4 out of 5 of suspicious masses are not cancer, but can still result in painful biopsies

Annual mammograms are important to help identify suspicious breast tissue, but 80% of the time a suspicious shadow or lump leads to painful, and potentially unnecessary biopsy.

With Imagio® Breast Imaging System, you can get answers without needles or dyes or x-rays, which means more women can avoid the biopsy altogether to rule out cancer.

What is Imagio®?

The Imagio® Breast Imaging System is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that looks and feels like a traditional ultrasound. It can be completed quickly after a mammogram to diagnose or rule out breast cancer in suspicious tissue—providing faster answers to patients and diagnostic confidence to clinicians.

Device Image
Device Image

How it works

OA/US combines both laser optics and conventional ultrasound technology to provide real-time images that can differentiate the telltale signs of cancer.

If suspicous tissue does not contain the typical characteristics of a malignant tumor (changes in oxygen and blood flow), a biopsy can be avoided.

Common FAQ and questions for your Doctor

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Why do I need an OA/US exam?

Doctors order an opto-acoustic imaging exam when a patient’s mammogram shows something unusual or suspicious.

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What exactly is OA/US imaging?

The technology creates pictures of breast tissue by fusing laser with ultrasound. These pictures give doctors information about the breast tissue that help them more accurately differentiate between cancerous (malignant) and non-cancerous (benign) tissues. Optoacoustic imaging allows the doctor to have greater accuracy and confidence in determining if a mass is malignant or benign.

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Does this exam replace a screening mammogram?

No. An OA/US imaging exam does not replace a screening mammography. A screening mammography looks for abnormalities in the breast, while OA/US imaging helps the doctor make a diagnosis: Is it cancer or not?

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Why is this method better than other ways of making a diagnosis?

The traditional methods of diagnosis include mammography, 3D mammography (tomosynthesis), ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These exams require radiation (mammography/tomosynthesis) or injections of contrast agents (MRI) and only provide pictures of the breast tissue structure or anatomy. Opto-acoustic imaging provides pictures that show both the structure or anatomy of the tissue and the composition or function–specifically how much blood and blood flow, as well as how much oxygen is in the blood. Clinical studies show that OA/US imaging gives doctors more information than mammography and ultrasound alone.

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How is OA/US imaging different from an ordinary breast ultrasound?

In a conventional diagnostic ultrasound exam, the hand held probe sends high frequency sound waves into breast tissue and receives the tissue reflected ultrasound sound waves or echoes. The sound is then converted into black-and-white pictures. Opto-acoustic imaging uses a similar kind of probe, but sends pulses of invisible laser into breast tissue and receives light energy converted to sound pressure waves, similar to ultrasound. The resulting colored pictures show both the anatomy and composition of the breast anatomy.

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How does OA/US information help in diagnosing unusual or suspicious areas of breast tissue?

Cancers use oxygen as their “food supply.” When cancers grow they need and consume more oxygen so they develop multiple blood vessels to transport oxygen-rich blood. With opto-acoustic imaging, doctors see pictures of the breast anatomy, overlaid with a color map that shows the relative amount and location of blood and levels of blood oxygen. Basically, OA/US uses the body’s blood as a natural contrast agent giving the radiologist more diagnostic information.

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Do I need to do anything to prepare for the OA/US procedure?

Preparations are minimal. You should wear comfortable clothing and leave any jewelry at home. You should also avoid applying powders, lotions or other cosmetics to your breast.

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Does the procedure have any risks?

The procedure is extremely safe. OA/US does not use X-ray radiation, nor does it require needles or injections of any kind. If you are pregnant, you should tell your doctor. Laser light has not been shown to be harmful to the eyes of the fetus, and in-house studies have been done to support the use of OA during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you have a history of any light-sensitivity and/or are taking medications for it.

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