Diagnostic Investigations

3D Digital Mammography

Mammography involves taking an x-ray picture of each breast while it is being gently compressed. Although it may cause mild discomfort, mammograms can detect breast cancer and other breast lesions at an early stage before changes can be felt in the breast by you or your doctor.  

Tomosynthesis is a process whereby multiple projection images of the breast are reconstructed to allow visual review of thin breast sections offering the potential to unmask cancers that may be obscured by normal tissue located above and below the lesion.

St Joseph’s has invested in the market leading Hologic Selenia Dimensions 3D mammography system which has several clinical benefits, including:

  • sharper diagnostic images when compared to analogue mammography
  • subsequent earlier detection of breast cancers and breast related conditions
  • increased accuracy when compared to analogue mammography
  • greater patient comfort
  • state-of-the-art tomosynthesis stereotactic biopsy which is integrated into our mammography unit making biopsies extremely accurate.  It is used to biopsy lesions that cannot be seen on ultrasound.  This cannot be offered in any other private hospital in South Wales
  • reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies due to more accurate imaging and giving the radiologist increased diagnostic confidence and minimising patient anxiety and costs.

Tomosynthesis stereotactic biopsy using the Hologic Mammography Unit

If your mammogram shows an abnormality your radiologist and breast surgeon may decide that you need a biopsy to assess the lesion further. This is usually performed under ultrasound guidance but when the lesion cannot be seen on ultrasound, the biopsy has to be performed using x-ray guidance (known as stereotactic biopsy).

St Joseph's is the only private hospital in South Wales that can offer you stereotactic/tomosynthesis biopsy. This ground-breaking technology integrates your mammogram data and biopsy procedure for unrivalled accuracy. The biopsy sample taken can be immediately assessed to ensure the radiologist is in the correct location using our Daax Faxitron core sample imaging system, which means our patients are confident in the knowledge that they will not have to return for a further biopsy procedure.

St Joseph's mammograms are reported by highly trained consultant breast radiologists who work in symptomatic as well as screening clinics.


St Joseph’s utilises the state-of-the-art Toshiba Aplio 500 ultrasound system.

Ultrasound sends harmless high-frequency sound waves through your breast and converts them into images on a screen. Ultrasound is not a stand-alone screening test for breast cancer disease. If an abnormality is seen on mammography, or felt by clinical examination, ultrasound is a sensitive and essential diagnostic test to find out if the abnormality is solid (such as a benign fibroadenoma, or breast cancer) or fluid-filled (such as a benign cyst).

Ultrasound-guided biopsy

If your mammogram or ultrasound investigations show a solid abnormality in your breast then a targeted biopsy may be recommended. Ultrasound is used to guide the needle in to the lump so that a tissue sample can be taken for analysis. The biopsy will be performed after injection of local anaesthesia and will take up to fifteen minutes to perform.  If an abnormality is identified by mammography but not seen on ultrasound, a mammographically guided biopsy will be performed. The biopsy will be sent to the histopathology laboratory for analysis.

Ultrasound-guided aspiration

If your mammography investigation and ultrasound shows a fluid-filled cyst (benign) an ultrasound-guided breast cyst aspiration may be required to drain the fluid from the breast cyst. This procedure takes only a few minutes and is performed by one of St Joseph’s consultant radiologists.

Consultation with your breast consultant to discuss the assessment tests and any treatment necessary

Once the results are available from your diagnostic investigations you will receive an immediate appointment to see your consultant to explain and discuss the results.

Your consultant will advise whether any further treatment or follow-up is required.




Breast Care Biopsies


Breast Care Centre Consultation


Breast Care Centre Follow up


Breast Care Ultrasonic Scan Routine


*The above prices are guide prices only and subject to change at any given time. Diagnostic scans and investigations are not part of the guide price. The guide price indicates the starting price for the treatment.

A 10% Covid-19 supplement will be added to the hospital cost for each procedure or treatment, including all imaging. We've implemented new protective procedures to ensure your safety at all times. 

The cost of treatment will be made clear to you before you proceed with any tests, scans, consultations or treatment. Please read our terms and conditions. If you have private medical insurance please follow the guidance here.

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