The Breast Care Center
3D Mammography (Breast Tomosynthesis) Frequently Asked Questions
We are pleased to offer you the latest tool in breast cancer screening -- Breast Tomosynthesis or 3D Mammography. To learn more we invite you to read these frequently asked questions and answers.
Where is 3D mammography available?
Wake Forest Baptist Health Medical Plaza - Clemmons was the first location in the region to offer 3D mammography.
What is a 3D mammography breast exam?
3D mammography is a revolutionary new screening and diagnostic tool designed for early breast cancer detection. It is performed in conjunction with a traditional 2D digital mammogram.
During the 3D part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple images. Then a computer uses these images to produce a 3D image of the breast tissue, providing greater detail for the radiologist.
What are the benefits of 3D mammography?
Earlier and easier detection -- With conventional mammography the radiologist is viewing the breast tissue in a flat image. Sometimes this tissue appears overlapped, making it difficult to see all the individual structures. 3D mammography allows the doctor to better see the different structures as well as the location, size and shape of any abnormal tissue, such as small cancers.
Fewer call backs -- In the past, if the radiologist saw an area that was questionable, the patient would be asked to return for additional imaging. By being able to see the breast tissue in smaller, thinner sections, the "second look" might not be necessary.
Are there any risks with 3D mammography?
Very low X-ray energy is used during the exam. This means the amount of radiation is below the recommended guidelines of the American College of Radiology (ACR) and is just slightly higher than digital 2D mammography alone. Breast Tomosynthesis is approved for use by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
Can I choose not to have this exam?
3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) is an optional addition to our traditional 2D digital mammography exam.
Is there an additional cost for 3D mammography and will my insurance company cover the additional charge?
Even though 3D mammography is FDA approved, most insurance companies are not yet reimbursing for this exam. Patients choosing to have the additional 3D mammography imaging performed will be asked to pay $20 at check-in. The remaining costs associated with the 2D mammography portion of the exam will be billed to your insurance (any outstanding balance from the 2D exam will be billed to you once your insurance has paid).
Where can I schedule my screening mammogram to get 3D mammography?
3D mammography is only offered at our Medical Plaza - Clemmons location, 2341 Lewisville-Clemmons Rd. To schedule your appointment please call 336-716-SCHD (7243). If you have questions or would like more information, please contact our Mammography Coordinator at 336-713-6721.