Dr. Lotfi is Connecticut Breast Imaging’s New Director of Breast Imaging at the new flagship office in Brookfield, CT
Parisa Lotfi, M.D. joined Connecticut Breast Imaging after an extensive career in breast imaging in Boston, working at Harvard-affiliated hospitals. As the new Director of Breast Imaging, she brings a wealth of experience to the role. Learn more about Dr. Lotfi in this interview: her background, her passion for the job, and her insight into new developments in the field of breast imaging.
Why did you choose radiology as your area of specialty?
Dr. Lotfi: I come from a family of doctors. My father is an obstetrician, my brother is an orthopedic surgeon, and other relatives are also physicians. I am married to a breast surgeon, who gives me special insight into this field. From a young age, I knew I wanted to go into medicine and I became passionate about taking care of women. During my training, I did a rotation in radiology and immediately loved it. The field requires a vast knowledge of physiology, anatomy, and technology, and during my fellowship and the years that followed I discovered that breast imaging is a specialty that allows me to combine all my interests.
What is an emerging challenge in the field of breast imaging right now?
Dr. Lotfi: The biggest challenge we are facing now is that a high percentage of women did not have their mammograms during the initial two-year period of the pandemic. We now have women finally coming in for screenings and are finding many cases of advanced cancers which, unfortunately, could have been identified and treated earlier.
Another challenge is the increasing financial burden of care that is being additionally impacted by our inflationary environment. Mammography screenings are considered the standard of care and are covered by insurance. However, screening breast ultrasound, and diagnostic imaging studies often have a deductible. Additionally women with elevated risk for developing breast cancer may be candidates to receive additional screening with an MRI. More patients these days are declining this additional imaging with MRI due to cost.
Are there any exciting new developments and/or technologies in the field of breast imaging?
Dr. Lotfi: There is a new type of MRI called an Abbreviated Breast MRI that can be used for screenings. It’s like a regular MRI, where we inject the dye, but it takes a lot less time and is available at a much lower cost to patients than traditional MRI. This type of MRI is used only as a screening tool – it can’t be used for diagnosis – but it is a highly accurate screening method. The Abbreviated Breast MRI is not widely available yet, but it will be coming soon to Connecticut Breast Imaging.
There is also contrast-enhanced mammography that is extremely good at detecting cancer. It involves using dye (contrast material) during the mammogram and produces similarly accurate images as MRI. This is a great option for people who cannot have an MRI, such as those with claustrophobia or a pacemaker. Hopefully, in a few years this technology will be more widely available and brought to Connecticut Breast Imaging as well.
Do you have a story you can share about a special patient or experience as a doctor?
Dr. Lotfi: Three years ago, my husband was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. I went through the entire experience with him as his caregiver, physician, and spouse, all while working at my own job and parenting my children. Our journey through his diagnosis and treatment which involved chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy took about a year, and was very challenging for me and my family. Fortunately, we had a good outcome, and my husband is healthy now. However, this experience completely changed me as a person, and as a physician. I gained tremendous insight into a patient’s experience. I now have much more compassion, empathy and sympathy for every patient, particularly the ones I have to deliver bad news to. I understand how truly life changing that moment can be. In addition, our journey gave me firsthand knowledge and awareness of how frustrating and complicated the healthcare system can be, and I make every effort to smooth the path for my patients.
If you had a day to yourself, how would you spend it?
Dr. Lotfi: I would definitely do something leisurely. My workdays are very full, so I love doing something without a time frame in my free time! Since I spend a large percentage of my time at work in the dark viewing images, I love being outside on my days off, enjoying a bike ride or walking the dog. I am also enjoying exploring Connecticut, having only recently moved here. I love that by living here I am so close to the coastline, yet also have fast access to New York City and all its offerings.
I have 2 sons in their early 20’s whom I enjoy mothering, even if in an advisory role nowadays.
About Connecticut Breast Imaging
Founded in 2010, Connecticut Breast Imaging is a highly-regarded innovator in the field of comprehensive breast imaging and diagnosis. The patient-centered practice is dedicated exclusively to breast imaging and breast health including screening, and diagnosis of breast cancer and other breast abnormalities. The practice’s top doctors – many of whom have trained and taught at some of the most prestigious universities in the U.S., including Yale School of Medicine – offer 24-hour results for most exams and procedures. Connecticut Breast Imaging offers 3D Mammography, Breast Ultrasound, and Breast Biopsy, providing unparalleled diagnostics, interpretation, and care. The practice’s focus on patient-centered care has earned its recognition in the State of Connecticut Employee Network of Distinction for Breast Biopsies.
With three convenient locations in Danbury, Connecticut Breast Imaging serves patients Monday through Saturday. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 203.791.9011.