If you live north of Ehrlich Road making the trek to St. Joseph's Womens Hospital for your yearly mammogram may be quite an undertaking. Now, this medical procedure and more are available at St. Joseph's-North Hospital in Lutz.
The hospital's digital Breast Center services include mammography, ultrasound, breast MRI, stereotactic biopsy and fine-needle aspiration biopsy. The accredited center is affiliated with the Shimberg Breast Center at St. Joseph's Women's Hospital and was recently designated as a Breast Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.
Patients can now go St. Joseph's Hospital-North for everything from mammography to diagnosis for breast cancer.
"You can stay here and have everything from a screening mammography, to diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound and biopsy," said Vikki O'Neal, manager of imaging services at St. Joseph's Hospital-North.
Patients who are diagnosed at The Breast Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North may work with their physician to decide their course of treatment. Breast surgery is offered at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North and St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital.
Beyond the cutting edge technology offered at St. Joseph's Hospital-North, hospital staff prides themselves on being able to provide patient-focused compassionate care and convenience.
The breast center offers mammography Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. And, as an added convenience, mammography exams are given until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and there are Saturday morning hours from 8 a.m. to noon.
"We try to cater to the patients' work, schedule and life," O'Neal said.
Radiologists recommend women over the age of 40 have mammography exams once a year, said Jacqueline Tolley, St. Joseph's Hospital-North spokeswoman.
"Early detection is the key," Tolley added.
It's no secret that having a mammogram can be an intimidating experience. Inside the center, a warm waiting area awaits patients replete with magazines and a television. And soothing art and murals adorn the walls of the center. It's these touches that the staff hopes calms patients' nerves.
Communication is also key.
"We talk them through the process, we manage to calm them down and we always check on them the next day," said Maria Reynolds, ultrasound technologist.
The goal is to knock down any barriers people may have to get the care they need.
"Breast cancer is such a preventable type of thing and we have the technology to do it," O'Neal said. "I would hate to see anyone not take care of their health so we want to make it easier for them."
For more information about St. Joseph's Hospital-North Breast Center call: 813-443-2010 or visit their website.