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story.lead_photo.caption Dr. Britton B. Lott, breast imaging physician at The Breast Center, shoes off a new imaging machine Tuesday. The center has moved back to its Fayetteville clinic and expanded from 10,000 square feet to 12,000 square feet to create two separate clinics, one for screening mammograms and another for diagnostic breast imaging. - Photo by J.T. Wampler

FAYETTEVILLE -- An attic fire forced the Breast Center to operate out of a temporary office for nearly a year but also opened the door for expansion and upgraded equipment.

Dr. Britton Lott, a radiologist at Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas' Breast Center, said clinic leaders always had their eyes on expanding and the Dec. 18 fire provided that opportunity.

The Breast Center

55 W. Sundbridge Drive, Fayetteville

7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

801 SE Plaza Ave., Suite 5, Bentonville

8 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Source: Staff report

The clinic at 55 W. Sunbridge Drive shared its building with Renaissance Women's Healthcare Partners before the fire. Renaissance moved to First Care Family Doctors South at 2523 E. Huntsville Road and is looking for a permanent home, said Carole Masterson, MANA spokeswoman.

The Breast Center moved back into the Sunbridge building Nov. 14, and with the addition of the Renaissance space, grew from 10,000 square feet to 12,000 square feet. Masterson said renovations cost about $900,000 with insurance covering part of the cost.

The center now offers two clinics, one for screening mammograms and the other for diagnostic breast imaging. The expansion allows each clinic to have its own entrance and waiting room, providing patients with more space and appointment options, Lott said.

Smoke, temperature and humidity from the fire damaged the center's four mammography machines, and the three of the four new ones can produce 3D images, or tomosynthesis. The fourth will be upgraded as needed, Lott said.

Lott said the center performs as many 3D screenings as possible because the images are more detailed and lead to fewer patient call backs. Patients are called back for additional imaging if the initial screening shows anything suspicious, according to the American Cancer Society.

The 3D imaging catches 40 percent more cancers and reduces call backs by 40 percent, Lott said, adding that some insurance plans cover the enhanced screening.

"It spares patients unnecessary anxiety and costs," she said.

A 2014 study by the the Journal of the American Medical Association found screenings using both digital and 3D mammography found 41 more invasive cancers and reduced false positive findings by 14 percent.

Debbie Keller, 54, of Fayetteville had her annual screening performed in October at the center's temporary office in the North Hills Medical Park. She had an abnormal reading and had to return for a biopsy last week at the new clinic. Her results came back negative.

Keller's diagnostic mammogram used 3D technology.

"It was the first time I had 3D, and it was not as uncomfortable," she said. "I've been going there for so many years, and they've updated so much."

The Breast Center also has a Bentonville clinic at 801 SE Plaza Ave. Patients with appointments at the Fayetteville center shortly after the fire were given the option of visiting the Bentonville site that operated under expanded hours.

"We want to make it as easy as possible," Lott said.

NW News on 11/24/2016

Print Headline: Breast Center reopens expanded clinic

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