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Blankets make mammograms more comfortable

Patients and mammographers alike at Andalusia Health are thankful for an invention that could has changed the comfort and cleanliness of a mammogram.

Bella Blankets are tiny adhesive coverlets that stick to the flat support plate of an x-ray machine.

The idea is that the Bella Blanket will allow technologists to get as close to the chest wall as possible.

Elaine Smith and Melissa Chandler

The textured material helps the breast tissue sit comfortably on the plate and also helps shield cuts or infections within the inframammary fold.

Rita Langford, the director of imaging services at Andalusia Health, said that there have already been good reviews on the Bella Blanket.

“We’ve been using the Bella Blanket for about two months,” she said.

“We’ve heard a lot of good things and we hope that we continue to hear good feedback from patients so we can continue to offer it.”

Elaine Smith, one of the x-ray technicians, said that the Bella Blanket helps keep things sanitary.

“The Bella Blanket has an adhesive back, we stick it on the plate for one use and we peel it off once we have taken the pictures we need,” she said.

“Every year for the state we have a mandatory FDA inspection. The purpose of it is to make sure the machines are putting out the right amount of radiation and that they’re working properly. This year, we were complimented on our use of the Bella Blankets.”

Smith also said the Bella Blanket works great as a way to prevent the pulling of breast tissue.

“Especially for older women- that skin is so fragile. The Bella Blanket prevents harsh pulling of the breast tissue.”

“It doesn’t change how we scan your breasts, but it definitely makes it more comfortable.”

Smith also wants women to know that it’s important to get a mammogram.

“The suggested age to start getting yearly mammograms is 40. A lot of women will start getting mammograms from 35-40 years old. It’s important to receive them yearly because hand exams can’t always tell you what is going on in your breast.”

The Andalusia Health has extended the hours of operation for mammograms, and will be open as late as 6:30 p.m