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NVRC Offers 3D Mammography

Posted on December 17, 2012 by

Northern Virginia Radiology Consultants, (NVRC) and Virginia Hospital Center are proud to offer the latest in cutting edge technology for breast cancer screening and diagnosis. 3D mammography, also known as breast tomosynthesis, was recently approved as a screening and diagnostic tool for breast cancer detection by the FDA. We have worked diligently to obtain this new technology and have upgraded each of our mammography units. This allows Virginia Hospital Center to remain in the forefront serving our patients and referring physicians. Currently the 3D mammography complements, but does not replace the standard two-dimensional digital mammogram and is helpful to all women, regardless of age or breast density.

The new technology produces three-dimensional images of the breasts which are intended to reveal the inner architecture of the breast free from distortion typically caused by tissue superimposition or shadowing. It allows our Radiologists to see and search through the breast in 1 mm layers and thus eliminates and reduces the tissue superimposition effects with an ultimate goal of reducing the patient callback rate and increasing the chances of detecting breast cancers that may be more difficult to visualize or possibly missed by conventional mammography.

Both digital and 3D mammograms are performed simultaneously on the mammography unit during a single compression. It only takes a few more seconds for each view as the mammography machine sweeps over the breast from one side to the other in a slight arc. A series of digital images will be obtained and processed to generate the 3D images.

As 3D mammography has only recently received FDA approval, it is not currently covered by insurance. Patients can elect to have this exam at the time of their screening or diagnostic mammogram for a $50 fee to be paid by check or credit card at the time of examination. As a referring physician, you may choose to include an order for 3D mammography on your mammography script. We kindly request that patients be aware of this in advance for ease of scheduling and to ensure that 3D tomosynthesis will be performed in conjunction with their annual screening or comprehensive mammogram.

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