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3-D Mammography / Breast Tomosynthesis

3D mammography, or breast tomosynthesis, is a relatively new breast imaging procedure approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011.  Breast tomosynthesis represents the best screening tool available in the fight against breast cancer, providing a shift in breast cancer screening by taking digital mammography to the next level. Women’s Choice Mammography is one of the earliest adopters of 3D mammography in the U.S. and was the first practice in Fairfield County to offer this technology to the women we serve.

Benefits of 3-D Mammography/Breast Tomosynthesis include:

  • Easier detection: By minimizing the impact of overlapping breast tissue, tomosynthesis can make a tumor easier to see.
  • Reduced recall rate: Tomosynthesis can help radiologists reduce false alarms. This leads to fewer callbacks, fewer additional scans and biopsies, and less anxiety for patients.
  • Fewer repeat views: By imaging the breast at 1 millimeter layers, the problem presented by overlapping tissues, in many conventional digital mammograms, is virtually eliminated.  This allows for improved cancer detection and in many cases, a reduction in overall radiation exposure.
  • Earlier detection: Overlapping tissue can hide a small cancer in a conventional 2D digital mammogram. With tomosynthesis, breast tissue is examined focused at 1 millimeter slices, which helps detect cancers earlier than standard digital mammography.

We do not receive reimbursement for the additional cost of 3D mammography at this time and we do not charge the patient an additional fee. It’s our mission to provide the best service and technology to our patients. 3D mammography is part of this mission at Women’s Choice Mammography.

Exam Procedure

The 3D mammography procedure resembles that of traditional mammography. The procedure takes place in a private room and is conducted by a radiologic technologist. The woman undergoing 3D mammography is required to change into a mammography gown/cape, removing any clothing above the waist, as well as any jewelry or other objects that might interfere with the imaging process.

During the procedure, the woman is positioned before a 3D mammography machine and her breasts are held in place by two compression plates. The pressure placed on the breasts by the compression plates can cause discomfort but only lasts for a few seconds.  The majority of women examined feel that the 3D/tomosynthesis exam is less painful than conventional digital mammography.

When ready, the radiologic technologist will start the 3D mammography machine and the arm will move in an arc over the woman’s breasts as multiple very low dose X-ray images are taken. The dose is similar to film mammography and is only slightly higher than in standard 2D digital mammography.

The scan itself takes only a few seconds per view. The entire procedure takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes.  At Women’s Choice Mammography, the results of the exam are conveyed to the patient before leaving the office.

“Patients deserve the best technology and a higher level of service than what they are accustomed to and that is what we provide.”

- Dr. Neil Specht

Patients Deserve the Best Technology

Women’s Choice is the first and only practice in Connecticut to perform 3-D Mammography for every patient.  This technology is significantly more accurate in detecting invasive breast cancers and is considered the best tool available to fight this disease.  “This technology allows us to find cancers at an earlier stage, when they are smaller.”  Women’s Choice Mammography is accredited by the American College of Radiology.

Dr. Specht and his staff offer unparalleled personalized care in a warm, relaxed environment.  He meets with patients to discuss their exam results before they leave the office.  “Patients deserve the best technology and a higher level of service than what they are accustomed to and that is what we provide.”

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