Breast-Specific Gamma Imaging

As a follow-up to your mammogram or ultrasound examination, your physician may order breast specific gamma imaging (BSGI). BSGI is a functional imaging procedure that images activity at the cellular level with a radioactive tracer.  Images of the breast are then taken with the BSGI camera. Cancerous cells may appear on the picture of the breast as “hot spots”.  Mammography, MRI, and ultrasound image the physical structure of the breast.  BSGI images cellular function. 
BSGI provides a functional view for the physician to compare and contrast with mammography and ultrasound images.  The technology helps the physician, helping to reduce, or increase his or her level of diagnostic confidence.

BSGI is most effective when:

  • Breast tissue is very dense
  • There are multiple suspicious areas
  • There are “lumps” that can be felt, but that are not evident on mammography or ultrasound
  • The patient has breast implants
  • There is a diagnosed breast cancer

 

Frequently asked questions about BSGI:

Does BSGI replace the mammogram?

No. BSGI is used with mammography to increase the physician’s level of understanding of your breast health.

How long will I be at the Solis office for a BSGI examination?

The examination typically takes less than one hour.  You should plan to be at the center for 90 to 120 minutes.

Does BSGI hurt?

No. You will be seated in a comfortable chair and given a small injection in one arm. Two images will be taken of each breast, with each image taking approximately six-minutes. As the images are being taken your breast will be held in place by a small panel. The panel does not compress the breast and exerts a pressure of only about two pounds.

Will I get my results immediately?

You will generally get your BSGI results before you leave the center.  The radiologist will review the images along with other imaging that has been obtained.  The radiologist will then meet with you to explain the results.

How long will the radioactivity be in my body?

The radiotracer used in BSGI, has been used for years in cardiac imaging. Two hours after the injection the radioactivity will have disappeared.