When preparing to have a mammogram, patients usually have questions regarding the differences between digital mammography, and analog mammography.


Along the same lines, physicians may have questions about the mammography machines as well; mostly, which one is best for their practice.


Digital everything seems all the rage right now, and we all know the basic advantages – faster, more detailed images, easier manipulation of images, and no need for a hard copy of the photos as they can be easily stored on a hard drive.



However, some lesser known pros of digital mammography machines include:


  • Less radiation exposure than analog.
  • Easier detection of cancer in younger patients and those with denser breast tissue.
  • Monitor in the room immediately displays the image, allowing repositioning if necessary.


Even with all of these advantages, I won’t be quick to say that digital is better than analog mammogram machines. There are cons to digital as well, which include:


  • Significantly more costly than their analog counterparts.
  • Digital Detector is very delicate, and very expensive for repairs.
  • More sensitive to ambient temperature.
  • In very large breasts, the digital images must be taken in a patchwork pattern, which is harder to read.


Mammography machines

Images taken from a Digital Mammography machine (left,) and an Analog Mammography machine (right.)


Looking at analog mammography machines, the pros are:


  • Much less expensive than digital mammography machines and still provides a digital image.
  • No digital detector, therefore repairs are much less costly.


The cons of analog mammography machines are:


  • Inferior image quality to digital.
  • Takes longer to receive image.
  • May be more difficult to find parts for repairs, since analog systems are being sold less.
  • Picture archiving is more difficult.


In the end, the choice between purchasing a digital mammography machine or an analog mammography machine is entirely decided by weighing the pros and cons, in order to determine which machine caters to your direct needs and unique situation.


Amber Diagnostics has been a leader in selling refurbished mammography machines since 1994, so any other questions or concerns you may have can be answered by our professionals. Feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call at 407-438-7847, and we’ll be sure to help.



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