Published Wednesday 14 Sep 2022

We recently blessed and welcomed three state-of-the-art mammogram machines at Hutt Hospital that will make breast screening easier and more comfortable for women and the screeners alike!

The machines, that arrived last month, have been described by Regional Screening’s Lead Medical Imaging Technologist Josie Manhambara as a “game changer”.

Josie explained, “We are celebrating new Hologic machines that have replaced the old ones that we have had for over 10 years. These machines use state-of-the-art technology such as Tomosynthesis and Contrast Enhanced Mammography. This makes us the first public hospital in New Zealand to carry out Contrast Enhanced mammography as a diagnostic tool.

“The Biopsy Guidance System on these machines are excellent, with fewer procedure steps which is fantastic for women as the procedure time is shortened. We also now have more options of carrying out breast biopsies than we had before including Tomosynthesis guided, Vacuum-assisted biopsies and use of a Lateral Arm. The different sets of compression paddles including the SmartCurve Paddle system delivers a clinically proven more comfortable mammogram as the curved compression surface mirrors the shape of a woman’s breast.

“They are a game changer and they are very worth it and much needed as well.”

Josie said the machines are already working wonders, with women saying how much more comfortable the new machines are when undergoing screening.

 “Women are noticing the difference between these machines and the old ones. They are more comfortable for the women who come in for mammograms and the experience is not as daunting for them.

“It is very exciting for us mammographers working on these machines too. The nature of our jobs can be very physical and machines have to be ergonomical so that we don’t end up with repetitive stress injuries. So these machines have user-friendly controls which improve on ergonomics and on workflow for us mammographers.”

Regional Screening Services Service Manager Karen Holden said she was relieved the wait for the machines was finally over and was excited about how they will improve breast health outcomes for patients.

“It’s been quite a while, but I’m absolutely proud of the amazing team effort across our organisation to get these machines here. I hope that the team will enjoy our new mammogram machines and I definitely know they will be great for all women who come in for screening.”

Nearly 10 percent of women develop breast cancer in New Zealand. Early detection and treatment can save lives.

Free mammograms are available for eligible women aged 45-69 years through the National Breast Screening Programme.

Book your two-yearly mammograms by going to