3D Mammography

The Women’s Imaging Center is proud to offer 3D Mammography. This ground-breaking 3D technology offers exceptional sharp images, early detection of breast cancer, clearer lesion images and reduction of unnecessary biopsies. Early detection is key in the battle against breast cancer.

Analog Breast Image
Digital Breast Image

The 3D Mammography Exam

3D mammography is an advanced technology which shows great promise in the fight against breast cancer. It uses computers and specially-designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor. From a patient’s point of view, having a 3D mammogram is very much like having a digital mammogram. The process is performed at the same time as traditional 2D mammogram, on the same scanner with no noticeable difference to the patient. While the breast is compressed a second set of images is obtained to create a 3D image of breast so the radiologist can evaluate the breast tissue one “slice” at a time.

During mammography, a specially qualified radiologic technologist will position you to image your breast. The breast is placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle (often made of clear Plexiglas or other plastic).

Breast compression is necessary in order to:

  • Even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized.
  • Spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities won’t be obscured by overlying breast tissue.
  • Allow the use of a lower x-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is being imaged.
  • Hold the breast still in order to eliminate blurring of the image caused by motion.
  • Reduce x-ray scatter to increase sharpness of picture.

The technologist will be in the examination room at all times. You will be asked to change positions slightly between images. The routine views are a top-to-bottom view and a side view. The process is repeated for the other breast. The screening mammography process should take about 15 minutes. The images are immediately available for the radiologist to review.