New, state-of-the-art equipment has been unveiled at Blue Mountain Health System's Palmerton campus.

A new digital mammography unit at the Palmerton campus opened on Thursday in the newly renovated mammo suite.

Other additions include a new 32-slice CT scan that replaced a 16-slice CT scan, as well as a new Ultrasound unit that opened this past Monday at the Palmerton campus.

In addition, a new bone density Dexa scan unit is in operation at the Gnaden Huetten campus in Lehighton.

The new equipment is more efficient as well, according to Elisa Condon, PACS administrator.

Condon said the new equipment at the Palmerton campus is modeled after the equipment at the Gnaden Huetten campus in Lehighton.

"All the units are mirrored at both campuses," Condon said. "It helps staffing, and helps patients with consistency."

The digital mammography unit is a real sight to behold, according to Trina Moyer, R.T. (RM), radiologic technologist, and registered mammographer.

"It's a lot quicker, and the image comes up on the computer screen so the technologist knows right away if they have to repeat it or not," Moyer said. "It's being telepathed to the radiologists reading office for a comparison to allow them to start dictating and get the report out."

Within the next six months, technology will be in place for a Pittsburgh subspecialist who specializes in radiology mammography.

"We're using a mammo pad on the machine, which makes it more comfortable, and not as cool," Moyer said. "We've gotten a lot of good feedback from women saying 'this did not hurt me at all', because it's compressing the breast, and we're getting better pictures."

Moyer noted the digital machine has CAD capability, so that in the event anything were to show up, radiologists can take a second look at the mammogram reading before they would issue out their final report.

"It allows for better imaging and contrast quality," she said. "The radiologist can alter the contrast to get a better, sharper vision because they have the capability to manipulate the image to get a closer look."

"Surgeons and radiologists can look at the images at the same time and discuss the patients case," Condon said. "It allows for very low dose radiation."

Moyer said patients can schedule an appointment for a mammogram by calling 1-866-400-2970.

The original 16-slice CT scan unit has been replaced with a new 32-slice model at the hospital as well, Condon said.

"It makes it a little bit faster for patients," she said. "It lowers down to the ground, and there's a light that signals to them to hold their breath."

Condon said the new ultrasound unit has resulted in "improved image quality."

"The images are sent to our subspecialist radiologist in Pittsburgh," she said. "Our radiologists are available 24 hours a day, and we are able to get results within minutes."