New Breast and Gynaecological Units Available on MSc Medical Ultrasound Course

The School of Radiology is excited to be offering three new units as part of our MSc Medical Ultrasound course. We are introducing two new units in Breast Ultrasound and Breast Interventional Techniques and one new unit in Gynaecological Intervention.

Both units offer students the chance to learn highly relevant and progressive treatment techniques in these specialist fields.

Unit leaders, Megan Lines and Farrah Elsaghir, explain more about each of the units and what makes them such exciting additions to the course content.

Breast Ultrasound and Breast Interventional Techniques Units

Megan Lines tell us: “Breast imaging and interventional work is a rewarding and challenging field which plays a vital role in the breast care pathway.

“We have carefully developed the breast ultrasound unit to deliver specialist knowledge and understanding of the anatomy and associated pathologies of the breast, and how this is applied in the acquisition of ultrasound images for diagnostic purposes.

“With the addition of the interventional techniques unit, students will be able go that step further in taking pathological samples, supporting important diagnosis through histology and cytology.

“The breast imaging units have been developed to provide safe and competent practical and reasoning skills in ultrasound examination and diagnosis through hands-on experience.

“This course will make use of the Prosection lab facilities on campus for anatomy and physiology training, and we will also be utilising our ultrasound machines for live demonstrations and hands-on practice with models. This helps to thoroughly prepare students for clinical practice.

“This is an exciting opportunity for health care professionals to further their expertise in an area where patient outcomes are reliant on diagnostic services. These units are aimed at sonographers, mammographers, GPs, as well as other health care professionals, who work and have an interest in expanding their skills into this unique area of the medical profession.

“Students who do not have experience of ultrasound are able to complete a Physics unit prior to taking this unit. This will ensure that they are able to use the ultrasound machine confidently, gaining maximum image quality and making correct diagnoses.”

Why is this an important unit?

Megan continues: “Breast ultrasound is a specialist area which isn't traditionally a specialty of sonographers. I work at a local NHS hospital practicing breast ultrasound and breast interventional techniques. It’s great to be part of a one-stop clinic which allows for efficient diagnosis. I hugely enjoy it and find my work extremely rewarding.

“I was passionate about creating this unit as there is limited choice of places to study breast imaging in the local area. I was also keen to provide a course that was suitable for both sonographers and mammographers. It is great to see radiographers and other health care professionals learning a specialist skill that will allow them to progress towards being an advanced practitioner or consultant practitioner.”

Gynaecological Intervention Unit

Unit Leader, Farrah Elsaghir, tell us more about her unit:

“This unit focuses on two interventional gynaecology ultrasound techniques: SIS (Saline Infusion Sonography), which examines the uterine cavity for pathology, and HyCoSy, which looks at the patency of fallopian tubes. The unit has been designed for healthcare professionals who already have experience in gynaecological ultrasound. Students will add to their pre-existing knowledge and learn how to undertake the advancing techniques through lectures and simulators. The two-day course will ensure that students are confident in their clinical placement.

“I have been using the HyCoSy technique within the NHS, it is a challenging but rewarding skill to be able to undertake. It’s brilliant to be teaching this new unit alongside Dr Trevor Wing. These techniques are an accurate way of assessing fallopian tubes and the uterine cavity. To be able to offer patients a technique that doesn’t use ionising radiation is fantastic. This new unit is another asset for the advancing School of Radiology, with the expansion of the school and new courses being offered, it is an exciting time to join the AECC University College.

“Interventional gynaecology has a crucial role in the pathway of gynaecology and fertility patients. This unit allows healthcare professionals to work collaboratively to become experts in this technique.”

Why is this an important unit?

Patients must be offered the best diagnostic test for their condition. Interventional gynaecology is crucial for diagnosis as it has high specificity, sensitivity and accuracy. Interventional gynaecology is a rewarding skill that is crucial in the gynaecological and fertility pathway.

“There are waiting lists for patients needing interventional gynaecology ultrasound examinations within many NHS trusts. Unfortunately, waiting lists have increased due to Covid-19. It is crucial that we offer the opportunity for healthcare professionals to learn this advancing technique to ensure patients have the quickest and most efficient diagnostic test.

“I believe this is an excellent skill for a practitioner to have on their CV and will improve their job prospects. It’s a real asset to be able to perform these techniques because you’re offering patients a high-quality service and effectively helping your department to reduce waiting times.

“The MSc Medical Ultrasound course makes use of our fabulous new Radiography clinic and equipment. This unit will use the Prosection Lab to refresh anatomy training and students will have access to gynaecological simulators to practice hands-on techniques. Students will attend lectures, but they’ll also get the valuable experience of practical sessions too.”

You can find out more about our MSc Medical Ultrasound course here.