Mammograms in San Antonio, TX
3D Mammography for Breast Cancer Detection
Concord Imaging was the first to offer Digital Mammography in San Antonio and Bexar County. We feature the Hologic Selenia Dimensions 3D Mammography system. The Dimensions unit combines the resolution of Digital Mammography with the newest technology of generating tomographic images through the breasts that eliminate th e overlap of tissues that can both hide abnormalities or make normal areas appear abnormal on a standard 2D mammogram.
Dr. Wiersig feels that the 3D technology represents an even bigger and more important advance in the ability to find breast cancer at an early stage than the introduction of digital mammography several years ago. The new mammography equipment will also allow the ability to perform stereotactic biopsies at Concord Imaging.
Detecting Breast Cancer via Mammography
One in eight women will be affected by breast cancer during her lifetime. Successful treatment of breast cancer hinges upon early detection of the disease to address it in its earliest stages. Doctors believe that early detection of breast cancer could save thousands of lives or more each year.
- Mammograms are screening tests used to detect possible masses in the breast, as well as follow up on or monitor malignant masses in the breast tissue.
- A mammogram utilizes X-rays to image the breast tissue, allowing for the detection of masses or other abnormalities.
- Receiving regular mammograms can reduce the number of breast cancer-related deaths among women aged 40-74.
- Digital mammography replaces traditional film with computer-based imaging so results are visible immediately.
- 3D mammography images the breast in “slices” to create a complete three-dimensional model of the breast tissue.
- If an abnormality is detected in the breast tissue via mammography, follow-up imaging and biopsy are recommended to determine the nature of the mass.
Top Three Benefits of 3D Mammography
3D mammography creates a full image of the breast by sweeping the X-ray camera in an arc around the breast. The procedure takes only seconds longer than a 2D mammogram but can render a much more detailed image of the breast. This technique offers many advantages over two-dimensional X-ray imaging of the breast tissue:
- 3D mammography can detect masses in the breast that might be hidden by tissue compression in a 2D mammogram. In a recent study, out of 59 breast cancers detected via mammography, 20 cancers were undetectable using 2D techniques.
- 3D mammography provides a more detailed image of the breast, reducing uncertainties in this screening technique. The greater detail afforded by 3D mammography lowers the number of false positives and unnecessary callbacks for additional diagnostics.
- 3D mammography allows for more accurate imaging particularly in younger women and women with dense breasts. This technique can allow physicians to more clearly determine which areas of the image are dense tissue and which are potentially concerning masses.
3D Mammography Videos
Questions About 3D Mammograms
Will I have to pay more for a 3D mammogram?
Maybe. This depends on your insurance carrier. Beginning in January 2015, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) will begin paying additionally for tomosynthesis. As a requirement for CMS, Concord Imaging is required to charge patients with other insurances at least as much as CMS is paying. Therefore, beginning 1/2/2015, Concord Imaging will begin charging patients for the tomosynthesis portion of their mammography exam . That charge will be $60 for each mammography exam. If a patient’s insurance separately pays Concord Imaging for tomosynthesis, their insurance payment will be applied against the $60 charge and the patient will be refunded the balance.
The radiologists of Concord Imaging are wholeheartedly behind the technological advance afforded by tomosynthesis and believe so strongly in its benefits over traditional 2D mammography that they do not believe that mammography should be performed without tomosynthesis. We are sorry about the additional charges, but this technology is expensive and truly adds significant benefits for breast cancer detection.
How Should I Prepare For a Mammogram?
Do not wear deodorant, powder or cream under your arms it may interfere with the quality of your mammogram.
How Is Mammmography Performed?
- You will need to undress above the waist for this procedure. You will be given a wrap to wear during the mammogram.
- You and a breast imaging technologists will be the only ones present during the mammogram. The technologist will position each breast, one at a time, on the mammography equipment. The breast will then be compressed, and the x-ray will be taken.
- If you are having a screen film mammogram, the technologists will take all of the x-rays needed for the examination. She will then develop the films before you leave, to make sure each film shows the right view and exposure.
- If you are having a digital mammogram, each x-ray will appear on the technologist’s computer screen, and she will be able to make sure each image shows the right view before positioning you for the next x-ray.
- The entire procedure should take about 20 minutes.
Are Mammograms Painful?
Breast compression may cause some discomfort for a brief time during each x-ray, but it should not be painful.
Breast compression helps obtain better x-rays by:
- Flattening the breast so that the maximum amount of tissue can be examined.
- Allowing a lower x-ray dose to be used, since the x-ray beams pass through a thinner amount of tissue.
- Holding the breast in place to prevent blurring caused by motion.
If you have sensitive breasts, schedule your mammogram at a time of the month when your breasts will be less tender. In, general the week after a period is when breasts are less tender.
What is Full Field Digital Mammography?
Digital Mammography uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high resolution computer monitor, and transmitted and stored just like computer files.
From a patient’s point of view, having a digital mammogram is very much like having a conventional screen film mammogram. Both film based and digital mammography use compression and x-rays to create clear images of the inside of your breast. During all mammography exams, the technologist positions the patient to image the breast from different angles and compresses the breast with a paddle to obtain optimal image quality.
Unlike film based mammography, digital mammograms produce images that appear on the technologist’s monitor in a matter of seconds. There is no waiting for film to develop, which can mean a shorter time spent in the breast imaging suite.
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Concord Imaging’s new mammography equipment is capable of performing digital 2D and 3D mammography, in addition to stereotactic biopsies. Please call (210) 572-2222 to schedule your appointment.