Breast Imaging

Patient having a mammogram

Patient having a mammogram


A Mammogram showing a breast implant.


An Ultrasound showing cysts in a breast.


Private breast imaging for patients with breast symptoms or for breast cancer screening is offered at the Nuffield Hospital, the Spire Hospital and the Wells Suite at the new Tunbridge Wells hospital.

The 3 breast radiologists are an integral part of the wider breast care team who aim to provide rapid accurate diagnosis and ensure the best possible care and treatment for each individual patient.

Patients with breast symptoms are referred by their general practitioner to a breast surgeon. We aim to provide imaging on the same day as your assessment by the breast surgeon (one stop service).

Drs Chhaya, Kirwan and Wakeham are all core members of the NHS breast multidisciplinary team in the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.
Regular audit and discussions at our weekly multi-disciplinary meetings reflect best practice within national breast guidelines

Mammography

Mammography is an x-ray examination. It can be used for screening and to investigate breast symptoms in women over 35 years.
We have access to state of the art full field digital mammography with image link facilities to other hospitals.
Mammograms are reviewed by two consultant breast radiologists which is national best practice.

Breast Ultrasound

Ultrasound is the standard diagnostic investigation in younger patients (under 35 years) who have more glandular breast tissue. It is used in conjunction with mammography in other patients as it gives complementary information. It can also be used to assess the integrity of breast implants.

Image guided biopsy and localisation.
In order to establish a diagnosis a biopsy for pathology is necessary. This is best performed using ultrasound to guide the needle and is usually done at the same imaging visit (one-stop service).

Prior to surgery for small lesions, a guide wire may be used to assist the consultant breast surgeon to locate the abnormality.

MRI

The radiologists use a state of the art 3 Tesla MRI scanner at the newly opened Tunbridge Wells Hospital. MRI is also available at the Spire hospital. This non ionising radiation examination is particularly useful in the further assessment of some patients with breast cancer and/or implants.

Additional Services

We are able to offer microbubble guided biopsy of axillary lymph nodes at both the Spire and Tunbridge Wells hospitals.  This is a novel technique to more accurately identify abnormal nodes prior to cancer surgery.  This has been proven to reduce the need for a second operation on the armpit.

Other investigations less commonly used but readily available include Bone Scans and CT PET imaging.

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