A compression paddle is a device found in mammographic units which is used to compress the breast.
It consists of a flat radiolucent plate positioned parallel to the support table, and attached to either a mechanical or pneumatic assembly. It is controlled by the operator by a foot pedal.
Full compression paddles are used to compress the entire breast, and should match the dimensions of the image receptor.
Spot compression paddles are smaller in diameter (typically 5 cm), and are used to compress a targeted region of interest of the breast.
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