You’ve heard the term 3D or tomosynthesis mammography, but what is it?
Digital breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography, is a breast imaging tool to improve the early detection of breast cancer. During the 3D part of the exam, an x-ray arm sweeps over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds. Images are displayed as a series of thin slices that can be viewed by our radiologist as individual images or in a dynamic interactive animation. Tomosynthesis or 3D mammography doesn’t replace mammography, but compliments the exam.
Is there more radiation involved?
3D mammography is safe. Radiation exposure to the breast is very low. The radiation dose for a combined 2D/3D mammography exam is well below the acceptable limits defined by the FDA, and is only a fraction of the level of radiation everyone receives annually from the natural background of being outdoors.
What’s the benefit?
• Tomosynthesis is used to see though overlapping dense breast tissue. Tomosynthesis benefits women with dense breast tissue more than without dense breast tissue.
• The combination of 2D and 3D mammography has demonstrated a 10-30 percent increase in overall breast cancer detection over 2D imaging alone.
• Our 3D mammogram machine features the SmartCurve technology which features a paddle that provides more uniform compression of the breast and improves overall comfort.
Will insurance reimburse for tomosynthesis?
Currently Medicare, BCBS and CHP reimburse for 3D exams, with some BCBS exclusions. The cost is an additional $100.00 for bilateral exams and $70.00 for unilateral exams. If your insurance does not cover tomosynthesis with your mammography exam, we do offer a same-day discount, if paid at the time of service.
Same-day discount: $50.00 for bilateral and $35.00 for unilateral exams.