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New Women's Imaging Suite at Lutheran Hospital

Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 7:59 am

Lutheran Hospital recently opened its Women's Imaging Suite.

The new facility gives women who need mammograms, breast ultrasounds or bone-density tests a more private and feminine environment for their medical experience.

The waiting room is painted in soft grays and steel blues with upholstered furniture, a chandelier, and plush patchwork carpet that brightens the hardwood floor.

The mammography rooms are painted in soft grays with a contrasting bright pink wall. The soft gray hallway leading to the exam rooms has chandelier scone lights for a softer, more feminine feel. The consulting room is slate blue. Throughout the suite are photographs taken from around Fort Wayne that feature the bright pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness.

Two photographs of former employees who had worked there are featured in the hallway; both women succumbed to breast cancer.

Dr. Chris Tremper, of Summit Radiology, has been in the field for 19 years. She said in that time she has seen more and more cases of breast cancer being diagnosed, but she has also seen the technology improve to make it easier for early diagnosis.

Tremper, along with several other women, had a vision of creating the new suite. Before, Tremper said women would walk down the hospital hallways in bathrobes to get to the mammography rooms. Now they have a separate area and it makes for a more relaxed patient. Tremper credits the color scheme and design to Polly Hagedorn, the wife of Summit radiologist Dr. Brett Hagedorn.

“I recently had a biopsy patient tell me the bright pink wall in the room made her feel happier during the procedure,” Tremper said.

Suite manager Dawn Hosteler said so far the reaction to the new facility has been very good. Right now is the suite's busy time of the year and everyone who has come in has been pleasantly surprised by the change.

Lutheran recently purchased a 3 Tesla magnetic resonance scanner. The new $7.2 million machine has a Hologic breast coil. Hologic developed the technology that has made MRI-guided breast biopsy possible.

The machine is so accurate, according to the company's website, it can do biopsies on women with implants as well as thin-breasted women, and women with lesions near the medial wall. Patients have been using the new machine since August.

A door at the back of the new suite connects patients to a hallway that takes them directly to the MRI, without having to walk through lots of hospital hallways.

In the new Women's Imaging Suite waiting room, patient Regina Dobyness was relaxing in an overstuffed gray chair.

“This is really nice,” Dobyness said with a smile.