LEWISTON – St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center is offering a product that dramatically eases the discomfort many women feel when they get mammograms. The FDA-approved foam cushion, called MammoPad, creates a softer, warmer mammogram.

St. Mary’s Women’s Imaging Center is a certified provider of the new product. The center hopes to increase the number of area women who follow recommendations for regular screenings.

“The discomfort many women feel during mammography compression is widely known to be a reason that some don’t get regular screenings,” said Dr. Joseph Ullman, a radiologist at St. Mary’s. In addition to compression, the cold surfaces and hard edges of the mammography device make the experience uncomfortable for some patients.

The single-use, adhesive-backed foam cushion attaches to the compression plates of the mammography device. It was developed by a Stanford University breast surgeon Dr. Gale Lebovic, who understood mammography discomfort from both a physician’s and a patient’s point of view.

The recyclable breast cushion is “invisible” to X-rays and does not interfere with the image quality of the mammogram.

Central Maine Medical Center has offered the cushions since November 2002, a hospital representative said.

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