Over the last decade, the transition has been swift from analog to full field digital mammography. The following is a list and description of the three different options available in the GE digital mammography line-up. While each of the systems were designed with fast and comfortable positioning, accurate dose efficiency, image quality and digital connectivity in mind; there are a few differences to note.
GE unveiled the Senographe 2000D in the year 2000. It was their introduction to the world of full-field digital mammography. The 2000D incorporates GE’s Revolution digital flat panel detector that was designed to achieve superior image quality and reliability. It's important to note that the detector size of this earlier model is 18x24 cm, smaller than their latest models which feature 24x31 cm detectors.
The 2000D is available on the secondary market and is a great fit for lower-volume centers who, due to the smaller detector size, are comfortable with having to reposition larger-breasted patients and take additional exposures when needed.
In 2004, GE took digital mammography to the next level when they unveiled the Senographe DS which includes stereotactic capabilities. The DS became their first system to integrate screening, diagnosis, and interventional capabilities into one system. The DS uses the same 18x24 cm flat panel detector as the 2000D, but with a smaller tube. With the inclusion of the stereotactic option, some have found this to be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a dedicated stereotactic table.
Key advancements of the DS over the 2000D include:
• A smaller footprint (the tech workstation and the lead glass shield are a single piece)
• Automated gantry rotation via control buttons on both sides of the gantry
Introduced in 2006, the Essential is the “Cadillac” of the GE digital line. It has the largest active field of view available on the market at 24x31 cm. More anatomy is covered so that in a single exposure, you can maximize image quality regardless of breast size or density. As with the DS, the Essential also has a smaller footprint, an automated gantry, and stereotactic capability, allowing for a complete clinical solution.
One of the common questions we get about the Essential is whether or not it can be upgraded to 3D Tomo. The answer: GE can offer this as a field upgrade. You can expect to pay between 100k and 150k for this upgrade. It may also require investing in a PACS system with additional storage capabilities as 3D Tomo images can be as much as 8 - 10 times as large as 2D images.
Refurbished Mammography Prices
The burning question of course is, “How much does digital mammography equipment cost?” Factors that affect cost will be system model, age, detector date of manufacture, refurbishment level, service agreement.
• GE Senographe 2000D – $50-65k refurbished, delivered and installed in the US with a one year parts and service agreement
• GE Senographe DS – 55k-70k refurbished, delivered and installed in the US with a one year parts and service agreement
• GE Senographe Essential – 105k-120k refurbished, delivered and installed in the US with a one year parts and service agreement
• Options such as CAD (10-15k) and Radiologist’s Review Workstation (15-20k) are additional
We’d love to hear about your experience and recommendations with regard to GE and other manufacturers of full field digital mammography (FFDM) equipment. Of course if you are looking to buy, sell, or need a part, we are here to serve!