Have any of you women’s health providers ever wondered what happened to the Fischer Imaging Mammotest biopsy table? Why did these workhorse machines disappear? They seem to be one of those well-liked products that simply vanished from the regular market like Choose Your Own Adventure Books, or Squeezit fruit drinks, or Pauley Shore movies.
Let us enlighten you with this historical knowledge bomb:
Up until 2005 the Mammotest held market share in the breast biopsy arena. With the new ELITE camera and surgical auto-guide, the Mammotest became the gold standard for accuracy and reliability in breast biopsies.
Few people know exactly what happened in 2005, but events lead to the closure of Fischer Imaging’s sales division. Their service arm lived on for a short time, but was soon sold off to Carestream (Kodak at the time). While some Mammotest users were comfortable with this service transition, others felt the Fischer ship was going down and they needed to explore other options.
News of the shake-up at Fischer played directly into the hands of Hologic. Events at Fischer could not have been more perfect for them in terms of converting a captive audience of frustrated and concerned Fischer biopsy table owners. The tides were turning and Fischer, who had once had the market share, was now being overtaken by the marketing goliath, Hologic and their Multicare biopsy table.
So how does the story end? Are Fischer tables still treating patients in the US today? Have they become antiquated by newer and better technology? Are they propping doors or serving as card tables in the office break room?
Fischer Mammotest Tables Today
You may be surprised to know that Fischer Mammotest tables are indeed alive and well here in the US. While Fischer Imaging is no longer in business, their biopsy tables are widely accessible on the secondary market and are considered far from old technology. In spite of Hologic’s run on the primary market Mammotest and Multicare tables coexist in the used arena. Some users may prefer one table over the other but, truth be told, both are very good products.
I recently asked a biopsy table engineer which table he would choose if he could only choose one. His response: the Fischer table. He cited image quality, ease of use (half as many steps in the biopsy process over the Multicare), and better accessibility to the chest wall as just a few of the reasons he felt the Fischer was superior. In fact, Siemens thought so highly of Fischer’s product that they bought the rights to the Mammotest table in an effort to compete against Hologic.
Your Stereotactic Biopsy Table Options
If you are in the market to buy a stereotactic biopsy table and are considering a brand-new unit, expect to pay the long dollar ($150,000-$200,000+) to Hologic or Siemens. If you seek a top-quality table without the top-shelf price, consider purchasing a REFURBISHED Fischer Mammotest Plus table instead. You’ll pay roughly half the price! And in terms of service costs on the back end, when Fischer dissolved the numerous engineers who built and serviced their tables were let go. Because of their significant knowledge and strong relationships with their customers, they continue to service many of the tables that are still being used today.
Now that you have a little history, you can rest assured that the great biopsy tables you may have begun your career on are still available, along with reasonable pricing and easy-to-find engineers. If you are considering offering prone biopsy services in-house for the first time or are simply looking to upgrade your antiquated table, we would love to offer you a quote today. If the introduction to this blog left you thirsting for a Squeezit; sorry, we can’t help.
Written by Jason Block
Jason Block is the Product Manager for Women’s Health Equipment at Block Imaging. Helping to match customer’s needs with equipment solutions is energizing for him. When Jason is not working, he enjoys coaching his kids’ sports, working out, and playing handball.