3D mammography is the latest breakthrough in breast cancer detection, offering enhanced imaging for women and men alike. With clearer images and faster results than traditional mammography, this technology enables early detection and targeted treatment of a variety of conditions affecting the breasts. Serving patients throughout Hunterdon County in New Jersey, Hunterdon Radiological Associates offers 3D mammography and other medical imaging services to help support more accurate diagnoses.
What Is 3D Mammography?
Also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, 3D mammography is a recent innovation in breast imaging. Rather than taking a single image from a fixed angle, the tomosynthesis scanner rotates around the breast to create 10 to 15 images, or slices, from several vantages.
The slices are then assembled in a 3D model of the breast using state-of-the-art software. They may also be viewed individually, allowing radiologists to identify the exact shape, size, and location of abnormalities. This helps reduce follow-up appointments and false positives for more accurate results. While 3D mammography creates more images with greater detail than 2D methods, it requires no additional radiation, making it as safe as it is effective.
3D Digital Mammography Video
When Is 3D Mammography Needed?
3D mammograms do not replace standard digital mammography. Instead, the techniques are used together to create a comprehensive view. Patients who meet the following criteria are good candidates for 3D mammography:
- Denser breast tissue
- Family history of breast cancer
- High lifetime risk of breast cancer
- Previous mammograms with suspected abnormalities
Your doctor will work with our radiologists to determine which method is right for you. Please note that while 3D mammography is well-accepted and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, it is not covered by all insurance providers. Be sure to check with your provider to determine coverage. Patients are responsible for all costs not covered by insurance.
What to Expect during 3D Mammography
On the day of your 3D mammogram, avoid wearing deodorant, powder, or other topical products. Doing so may interfere with the clarity of the image. You will be asked to disrobe to the waist, so wearing a comfortable, two-piece outfit is suggested.
During the exam, a technologist will operate the 3D mammography equipment behind a glass shield. The process is quick and simple, and includes the following steps:
- The breasts are compressed between plastic paddles to achieve uniform tissue thickness. Compression reduces motion blurring and ensures crisp images at lower doses of radiation.
- The X-ray tube will move in a circular sweep around your breast until enough image slices are available to create a 3D model.
- The tube will remain in each position for several seconds. This requires slightly more time than a 2D mammogram, but you’re unlikely to notice the difference.
3D mammography may be used successfully at any time during your menstrual cycle. However, because compression is required, you may wish to schedule your appointment when your breasts are less likely to be tender. Always notify your technologist if you could be pregnant or you are breastfeeding, and share any notable results from past mammograms.
When the exam is complete, one of our board-certified radiologists will interpret the results and forward their report to your physician. You will also receive a letter with results and recommendations.
Learn More about 3D Mammography
Hunterdon Radiological Associates is proud to serve residents of Hunterdon County in NJ with 3D digital mammography and other advanced services at the forefront of medical imaging technology. To learn more about 3D mammograms or to schedule an appointment, contact us online or call 908-237-5395 today.