Monday, December 16, 2013

Paving the Way: Patient Access to Radiology Results

A recent article in DiagnosticImaging asked the question "should patients have access to images and reports?" The answer, according to Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology's CEO and Medical Director, Steven L. Mendelsohn, MD, is a resounding "yes!"

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology was an early adopter of the patient portal idea. ZPR's portal, launched almost two years ago, allows patients to access their exam results via their own computer. Patients can now view and print their reports. But patient portals have been met with some concern by doctors who worry that patients will get results online rather than from their referring physician. Mendelsohn, quoted in DiagnosticImaging, laid those fears to rest. "It's such an overwhelming benefit to give patients the results. I cannot think of a practical downside, whether the results are good or bad," he said. Plus, he added that an extra set of eyes is always a good thing. "The patients may pick up on stuff in their report that the referring doctor didn't notice," said Mendelsohn.

According to Mendelsohn, some referring physicians have even called to thank him for providing the reports online to patients. It ensures that patients get their results without delay, and speeds the whole process. Best of all, it gives patients a feeling of control, and the ability to be involved in their own health care.

Patients have greeted the portal with great enthusiasm. "Thank you for instituting the use of the patient portal," wrote one patient. "It is so wonderful to be able to access a record of all procedures and reports, appointments, etc. So much better than asking doctors for copies or to fax results. Having this kind of record at our fingertips is invaluable on so many levels. I will be sure to have all procedures done at Zwanger-Pesiri in the future."

Have you tried Zwanger-Pesiri's patient portal yet?

Zwanger-Periri Radiology is the leading Long Island provider of diagnostic imaging, with 12 offices throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

it’s such an overwhelming benefit to give patients the results. I cannot think of a practical downside, whether the results are good or bad, - See more at:
it’s such an overwhelming benefit to give patients the results. I cannot think of a practical downside, whether the results are good or bad, - See more at: he said.
“If I estimate one to two calls per week per radiologist, I may be overestimating it, - See more at:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Two are better than one: Adding tomosynthesis decreases recall rates

Patients undergoing conventional mammography paired with tomosynthesis had significantly lower screening recall rates than those receiving mammography alone, according to a study published in the December issue of Radiology.
The impact on recall rates was particularly strong for those younger than 50 and those with dense breasts, reflecting tomosynthesis’ ability to reduce false-positives in that patient population.
“Recent work has evaluated the performance of tomosynthesis in a variety of observer performance studies, which collectively have established that the combination of digital breast tomosynthesis with conventional digital mammography can decrease screening mammography recall rates without having a negative effect on sensitivity in the detection of malignancy,” wrote Brian M. Haas, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues.
Haas and colleagues created a study to evaluate the performance of breast tomosynthesis in clinical practice by identifying which patients experienced the greatest reduction in screening mammography recall rates and to assess the cancer detection rate.
Participants were selected from patients presenting for screening mammography in a one year period between October 2011 and September 2012 at four clinical sites. These sites all used digital mammography and included breast imaging clinics in an academic tertiary care hospital, two outpatient radiology centers, and a mobile van-based mammography unit. Tomosynthesis was the preferred method of screening when available, and was performed in combination with mammography when feasible.
Eight breast imaging radiologists interpreted the exams. Recall rates were calculated for the two groups and stratified by breast density and age. During the study, 13,158 patients underwent screening mammography, 6,100 underwent tomosynthesis plus mammography, and 7,058 underwent digital mammography alone.
The overall recall rates for patients in the tomosynthesis group were 8.4 percent and 12 percent for the conventional imaging group. When the recall rates were stratified according to breast density, results demonstrated reduced recall rates for the combination compared with mammography alone for all breast density groups. Significant differences were found for scattered fibroglandular breast density, heterogeneously dense breasts, and extremely dense breasts.
When stratified according to patient age, reduced recall rates were evident with tomosynthesis plus mammography for all age groups. Significant differences were found in patients younger than 40, patients 40 to 40 years old, and patients 60 to 69 years old.
Both younger age and greater breast density were significantly associated with higher risk of recall.
There was a 9.5 percent increase in the cancer detection rate with tomosynthesis; 2,018 women would need to be screened with tomosynthesis to detect one additional cancer beyond that detected by mammography individually. 

“When adopted, tomosynthesis promises to alter the mammography workflow by decreasing screening rates and to subsequently improve the mammography experience for many women,” wrote Haas and colleagues. 

Steere, Anna. "Two are better than one: Adding tomosynthesis decreases recall rates." HealthImaging. 24 November 2013.

Friday, November 22, 2013

ABC News’ Amy Robach’s Mammogram: Much More than Public Service

 It was supposed to be a routine Good Morning America segment for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Amy Robach, the ABC News journalist, who had never had a mammogram, reluctantly agreed after some prodding by colleagues, to have one. But it was not to be the sort of private affair that other women share with their physician. Instead, she had been asked to perform the first live television mammogram. 

In a taped piece before the procedure, she said she’d agreed to the unusual public demonstration because, “If I’ve put it off, how many other people have put it off as well?” Still, as Robach explained to viewers, she had little reason to expect anything but a clean bill of health.

By delaying her mammogram until now, she knew she had been taking a risk, but was not overly concerned. Like many women, she calculated that her risk was low. Her work and family schedule was more hectic than most and –taking everything into account -- the test could wait. “I work out, I eat right, I take care of myself and I have very little family history; in fact all of my grandparents are still alive.”
But she yielded to arguments from her producers and was persuaded to undergo the procedure on national TV on October 1st because, she told her audience, “If even one life is saved through early detection, it’s all worth it.” She didn’t dream that the person whose life may have been saved through early detection would be her own.

After several subsequent tests a few weeks later, she was given a diagnosis of breast cancer. In November, she received a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, and is currently recovering. Ms. Robach’s experience is a powerful argument for early detection. The oddsmaker in every woman’s mind will want to take the journalist’s lesson to heart.
Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology is the leading breast imaging facility in Long Island, featuring 3D mammography, a new groundbreaking technology that generates 3D images of the breast and gives physicians a clearer look through overlapping breast tissue. Studies have demonstrated that 3D mammography is far superior to conventional mammography in detecting cancer and lowering the risk of false-positives. ZPR is the only radiology practice using all Hologic 3D machines -- the gold standard in 3D mammography -- not just in a few locations, but in every location.  
Recent Zwanger-Pesiri articles on mammography:
·      What is 3D Mammography?
      ZPR also offers digital mammography, breast ultrasound, breast MRI and breast biopies in a caring and compassionate environment.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Using an MRI to “See” What Man’s Best Friend Feels

What if it were possible to know what a dog feels?

Fascinating research made possible by MRI technology has uncovered a partial answer to this baffling question. Since man’s best friend can’t speak to us directly, we must rely on indirect information – barking, or tail-wagging, for instance. But do sick or confused dogs show the same behavior? Does a dog that doesn't bark or wag its tail still feel something when it sees a familiar person? And is it the same thing a dog feels when it sees another familiar dog? Some of these questions were answered.

Emory University Professor Gregory Berns believed that neuroscience could offer some clues. He reasoned that knowing more about how dogs react neurologically could affect the way we treat them. In a recent article in The New York Times, Berns describes training his dog, and others, to remain still in MRI machines to be scanned for a study.

Findings are preliminary – studies are ongoing – but one part of a dog’s brain is already demonstrating a remarkable similarity to a human brain: the caudate nucleus. The caudate nucleus is a part of the human brain whose activity can, with some consistency, predict a person’s preference for food or music. So it was with dogs in the study: their caudate nuclei responded to “hand signals indicating food,” the odor of familiar humans, and perhaps the return of an owner who had just disappeared from view.

A remarkable aspect of the research is that dogs are trained to remain completely still inside the MRI unit. Berns notes that vets usually anesthetize dogs for scans like this, but an anesthetized dog would not be able to display emotional reactions. The ability of dogs in the study to remain motionless when requested, made possible by positive training by investigators, allowed the MRI scanner to capture images of brain activity -- and thus, to study dogs’ reactions to stimuli. The team was able to train twelve dogs to obtain MRI scans in this way.

It turns out that dogs are like us in ways that we could never have “seen.” Perhaps one day Berns' team will be able to know when dogs are impatient, worried, or just wanting a little more attention.

Zwanger-Periri Radiology is the leading Long Island provider of diagnostic imaging, including MRI scanning, using the most advanced 3T Wide-Bore MRI (Siemens Skyra) units on the market today.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Earlier Mammograms Urged for African American Women

It’s a cruel paradox: If you are a black woman, you are less likely to get breast cancer than a white woman, but you are 41 percent more likely to die from it.

Research has shown that there are multiple factors at work. Black women tend to request medical attention later, have reduced access to health insurance, participate less in wellness care initiatives, and tend to have poorer overall health at the time they are afflicted with breast cancer.

Recent evidence for this group’s disproportionately poor breast cancer outcome comes from several sources:

In 2013, more than 6,000 black women are expected to die from breast cancer. Experts believe earlier mammograms for black women (starting at age 40) would save lives.

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology is committed to providing diagnostic imaging services for those who need them, including those who are uninsured. We are proud of our Give Back Sundays program, which provides radiology services for the disadvantaged and uninsured at no charge. It is one of the many ways that Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology gives back to the community. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology High School Essay Contest

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology is proud to award ten distinct $1,000 scholarships to eligible high school seniors who reside on Long Island.

We are looking for a well-thought-out essay that can have an impact on all of our lives today and in the future! We want to hear from YOU!!


  • The essay should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words, submitted electronically as a PDF or Word file.
  • The student must be active in community and charitable organizations. This needs to be documented and verified by the school’s guidance department.
  • The student must have a GPA of 85 or higher, and be in their senior year.
  • Deadline is May 1, 2014.

Topics (choose one)
  • How does radiology help you and your family?
  • Advances in technology drive innovations in medicine.  How do you see technology advancing radiology?
  • How will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have an impact on the field of radiology?
Please e-mail essay submissions to

Winners and guidance departments will be notified by e-mail by June 1, 2014.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology Opens 12th Office in Patchogue, Long Island

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology is pleased to announce the opening of its latest office in Patchogue, New York. With the opening of the Patchogue office, patients now have twelve locations to choose from across Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The new office is located at 285 Sills Road, and like our other locations, offers the most advanced radiologic technology on Long Island in a welcoming environment that focuses on patient comfort and care. Among the many services offered are: 3T wide-bore MRI, low dose CT, 3D mammography, ultrasound, digital X-ray, and DXA bone densitometry.

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology has office hours Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all studies and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We look forward to providing you with exceptional care and serving you at our new location.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiologist Performs First 3D Guided Breast Biopsy in New York

Guy Bassis, M.D., a radiologist with Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology, has performed the very first 3D guided breast biopsy in New York State. This technology is the latest to be developed following the introduction of 3D breast tomosynthesis (also known as 3D mammography) which provides physicians with 3D images that allow for greater detection of breast abnormalities.

“3D mammography has allowed us to see things that we weren’t able to before,” said Bassis. “This technology has allowed us to identify hard-to-find lesions in the breast, and then, using the 3D tomography as a guide, reach areas we weren’t able to biopsy before.”

3D guided breast biopsy uses 3D mammography to create detailed images that help radiologists localize and target areas of interest. This new method of identifying biopsy sites allows for better detection of lesions, including those that are typically hard to identify, and better access to those sites.

“Utilizing 3D imaging for biopsy allows us to see and biopsy lesions that we weren’t able to in the past,” added Bassis. “While the actual biopsy procedure is largely the same, we now can find and examine more abnormalities with greater specificity, and this greatly helps to identify breast cancer at an earlier stage when it is more treatable.”

“We are proud to be the first radiology practice in New York State to conduct 3D guided biopsy,” said Steven L. Mendelsohn, M.D., CEO/Medical Director of Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology. “This is just another example of how Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology is always looking for ways to use the latest technology to provide the best possible care and improve outcomes for our patients.”

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology utilizes state-of-the-art 3D tomography equipment from Hologic, Inc., throughout their Nassau and Suffolk locations.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology Announces New Office Location in Elmont

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology is pleased to announce the opening of a new office in Elmont, New York. With five locations in Nassau, and six in Suffolk, there is always a conveniently located  Zwanger-Pesiri office for all your radiology needs.

The new office is located at 1390 Hempstead Turnpike, and like our other locations, provides a beautiful, calming atmosphere with the latest state-of-the-art technology. Among the services offered at the Elmont location are: wide-bore MRI, CT, PET/CT, digital mammography, X-ray, ultrasound, fluoroscopy , and DXA bone densitometry.

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology has office hours Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all studies and until midnight for MRI, and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We look forward to serving you at our new location!

Elmont Contact Information:
Phone: (516) 797-7796
Fax:     (516) 798-8354

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Don't Miss the Zwanger-Pesiri Health Fair - July 27th!

Save the date! Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology is having its second annual Health Fair! Please join us on Saturday, July 27th from 12pm to 4pm for a FREE, fun, educational and inspirational afternoon.

WHERE: The parking lot of Zwanger-Pesiri's Lindenhurst Office at 150 East Sunrise Highway (next to the Babylon Town Hall).

WHO'S INVITED? Everyone! Bring your entire family. There will be activities for all ages, including health information, activities and demonstrations!

WHO WILL BE THERE?  Mingle with Zwanger-Pesiri staff, and vendors providing health information, including:
  • Physician specialists
  • Personal training
  • Aerobics
  • Zumba
  • Acupuncture
  • Nutrition
  • Smoking cessation
  • Weight loss
  • Skin & beauty care
  • Fertility
  • Health insurance
  • Blood drive from the New York Blood Center -- Free Mets tickets with all donations!!!
  • Blood pressure, glucose & bone density screenings
  • Carnival games, clowns, face painting, and many other activities for kids
  • Rock climbing on a 30 foot tall rock wall
  • 65 foot obstacle course
  • Food and drinks
  • Live music
  • Free parking
  • and much, much more!
Don't miss this opportunity to get out and mingle with your neighbors while you learn about how to maximize your health, and the health of your family. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information, contact Wendy Valentin at 631-930-9434 or email

Rain date - Sunday, July 28th.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Q & A -- MRI Concerns From a Patient with Claustrophobia

We are always happy to answer questions from readers!  Below is a question about MRI. If you have a question you'd like answered (either in this blog or via email), feel free to email us.

Q: My doctor wants me to go for an MRI of my neck and upper back, but I suffer from claustrophobia. The thought of being in a small space like that just terrorizes me. I know I need to get the MRI, but I haven't been able to make myself call for an appointment because of my anxiety. Can you suggest anything to help?

A: Yes. First of all, know that you are not alone. Many people suffer from claustrophobia or other disorders that make it difficult for them to consider getting an MRI scan (which involves lying on a table in a tube-like device and staying still for a period of time). At Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology, we use MRI units with wide openings and short bore designs in order to minimize claustrophobia and increase comfort.

Some people (particularly those with claustrophobia, those who are severely anxious or in pain, and children) sometimes have trouble staying still for an MRI exam. For these patients, Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology offers MRI with I.V. sedation. A sedative will be administered intravenously by a board certified anesthesiologist. You will be monitored before, during, and after the MRI exam by both the anesthesiologist and a nurse. The sedative will calm you, enable you to lie still, and make the MRI process much easier and more relaxing. I.V. sedation is safe and effective, and there are no lasting effects.You will, however, need to have someone with you to drive you home.

Tell your physician about your claustrophobia and ask him or her to specify on the prescription, "MRI with I.V. sedation." Let the Zwanger-Pesiri team make your MRI as pleasant and non-stressful as possible.

Do you have a question about MRI or any other topic regarding radiology?  Email us at