Mammography chair makes a big difference

Seated exams provide many benefits for patients and technologists

With safe, seated mammography trending in the United States and Europe, Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County says its use of the Danish-made VELA Mammography Chair has provided significant physical benefits for patients, health benefits for mammographers, and better breast imaging.

Tracie Soller, MHSC Director of Imaging, explained that while many patients are comfortable in the traditional standing position, the mammography chair is appropriate for mammograms for women who are not steady on their feet, use a walker or a cane, are wheelchair-bound, are overweight, may be experiencing dizziness, or are recovering from a stroke.

Although falls during standing mammography are rare, Soller said patients who are anxious, nervous, cannot relax, and tense up may be prone to falling. "And I would rather have them in my mammo chair before that happens," she said.

Clearer imaging is achieved because the mammography chair is a stable platform that reduces patient motion, with wheels that lock it into place and electric height adjustment that better positions the patient for the mammogram while avoiding what she termed "challenging positions" for the mammographer.

"Just to see the effects it has had on our patients, when they look at the mammography chair, they know that we made an investment in them, that they matter to us," Soller said.

Soller recommended that before their next mammogram, women who find traditional standing mammography intimidating or uncomfortable should ask about seated mammography. "But I would go one step further and ask them what type of seated mammogram, specifically what type of chair they have," she said. "This particular chair makes all the difference."

MHSC and Converse Memorial Hospital in Douglas, the only two in Wyoming with a VELA chair, purchased the VELA Mammography Chair from Florida-based Enable Me, a VELA Company.

"We had some patients who were unsteady on their feet, so we got the mammography chair several months ago and it has been a lifesaver," said Tia Agent, Radiology Director at Converse Memorial Hospital.

For more on MHSC's Imaging and Radiology Department and all that Sweetwater Memorial has to offer, go to


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