The mammography machine, first of its kind in Canada, arrives at Guelph General Hospital – thanks to YOU!

You’ve placed our Hospital at the forefront of breast imaging.

“Guelph is now in a very good place when it comes to breast-cancer screening. We’re lucky to have such generous donors buy this machine for the Hospital to serve our community,” said Dr. Malek Meshki, Radiologist and head of women’s imaging at GGH.

At over 10 years old, Guelph General Hospital’s former mammography machine was beginning to show its age. Instead of rushing to replace it, the Hospital held off knowing that brand new technology was about to be available.

Dr. Meshki explained “The new machine has significant advantages over the one it replaced. In particular, it is able to create 3D images of the breast and any abnormality found within. With the increased ability to view smaller lumps or shadows, an earlier diagnosis is possible.”  It also significantly reduces the number of “false positive” results which is a huge benefit to patients.

3D imaging can also support a better patient experience should a biopsy be necessary. “A biopsy needle can be just a millimeter off and miss getting a sample,” Dr Meshki noted. “3D images help ensure the needle is inserted in the correct location and is moved to the exact depth needed to get a proper sample.”

The content of the needle is immediately analyzed by a new feature on the machine to make sure the needle found its mark. If it missed because the patient moved for example, another biopsy can be immediately retaken. It used to be the sample was sent to the lab for confirmation. If the results showed another biopsy was needed, the patient would have to return to the hospital for another scan. With this new feature, the cycle of diagnosis is shortened which means patients can get on a treatment plan sooner.

The machine also has some softer features designed to help patients feel less anxious. For example, its lighting can change colour depending on a patient’s preference. Anything to help ease the patient’s tension is most welcome says Karen Landoni, GGH’s long-time Tech Lead in mammography. “Some of the most anxious people coming to the hospital are those coming for a breast scan,” she said. “The more we can help them to relax, the better image we can get.”

Funding for the machine, with a negotiated price tag of $490,612, came from donors, including those in our “Circle of Life” group. Each year, Circle of Life members are given a list of three hospital priorities in urgent need of community support. Members then collectively decide which project to support through a voting process.

The balance of the mammography machine was funded by pooling together many individual donations.

You help save lives and improve health at Guelph General Hospital. Thank you!