The action of holding your breath inflates your lungs and pushes your heart away from your chest wall and away from the area being treated. This is important to minimise any potential radiation damage to your heart. DIBH is only for patients having their left breast treated because the heart sits behind the left breast and chest wall.
As everyone is different due to their size, shape and internal anatomy, the hospital won’t know if you need to use DIBH until you have had your first planning CT scan. For some people, even when breathing normally, their heart will not be in the radiation field, so for them DIBH is not necessary. Though for the ones that need it there will be a benefit to having this impressive medical equipment.
The number of times that you need to hold your breath depends on how long you can hold it for. This equipment assists with the radiotherapy.
The equipment monitors your breathing and position, so if you release your breath without being told to, the radiation is switched off.
This equipment can help men or women, anyone who is having radiotherapy on their left side, chest wall.