Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography)
Specialized breast cancer screening.
At Sharp, we offer a specialized breast cancer screening called tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography. This diagnostic tool can uncover breast abnormalities unseen in traditional mammograms, allowing doctors to detect breast cancer earlier.
Benefits of tomosynthesis.
Tomosynthesis uses high-powered computing to generate a 3D reconstruction of the breast, providing clearer, more accurate views of breast tissue. Like any organ, breasts are three-dimensional — made of tissue, milk ducts, fat and blood vessels at varying depths. With tomosynthesis, small cancers are better detected behind dense tissue.
Because 3D tomosynthesis provides a layer-by-layer view of breast tissue, it is especially effective for women with dense breasts, which can hide cancers and other abnormalities behind less fatty tissue. Roughly 40 percent of U.S. women have dense breasts, and most don't know it.
Frequently asked questions about 3D mammograms.
What can I expect during my 3D mammography?
You can expect a similar experience to a traditional screening. The technologist will position you on an X-ray machine, compress your breast and take images. Instead of taking pictures of your breast from two angles — up and down, and left and right — 3D mammography takes multiple images of each breast from many angles. A computer then produces a 3D image of your breast tissue in one-millimeter slices, providing greater visibility.
There is no additional compression with 3D, and it only takes a few extra seconds. The technologist will work with you to ensure a comfortable mammography experience and to help eliminate any apprehension you may have.
How long will it take?
The tomosynthesis procedure is no different than having a conventional mammogram. Your typical appointment will be no more than 30 minutes.
Is 3D mammography safe?
The 3D tomosynthesis exam is comparable to conventional 2D mammograms when using low-dose radiation software.
What happens after my 3D mammogram?
A board-certified radiologist reads your 3D mammogram, and a report is delivered to your doctor. You can expect to receive your screening mammography results by mail within a week.
When should I receive a 3D mammogram?
Annual mammograms should begin when you turn 40 — a recommendation supported by the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, American Society of Breast Surgeons and others.
Request a 3D mammogram.
Tomosynthesis screenings are available at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers, Sharp Memorial Hospital, Sharp Coronado Hospital, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center and through Grossmont Imaging, a partnership of X-Ray Medical Group and Sharp Grossmont Hospital.
At Sharp Memorial, screenings take place inside the Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion's Outpatient Imaging Center, a designated Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. If you're interested in receiving a 3D mammogram, talk to your doctor or call 858-939-5100 to make an appointment.
At Sharp Grossmont, screenings take place at Grossmont Imaging, which is dedicated to providing the highest quality imaging and interventional services available — utilizing state-of-the-art equipment in conjunction with advanced, cutting-edge techniques. If you're interested in receiving a 3D mammogram, talk to your doctor or call 619-461-1830 to make an appointment.
At Sharp Coronado, screenings take place at the dedicated women's imaging suite at the Payne Family Outpatient Pavilion. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 619-522-3670 or schedule online for your annual screening mammogram.
At Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, screenings take place at San Diego Imaging Chula Vista, which is dedicated to providing the women of San Diego's South Bay with comprehensive imaging services in an outpatient imaging center setting. To schedule a 3D mammogram appointment, please call 619-397-6577.
At Sharp Rees-Stealy, screenings take place at the radiology department of locations with mammography services: Downtown, Mira Mesa, Otay Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Santee and Sorrento Mesa. Appointments are available Monday through Friday with Saturday availability at select locations. Patients can request an appointment through FollowMyHealth or by calling 858-586-6730.
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