Tomosynthesis, commonly known as 3D mammography, is a new state of the art imaging technique that will add another tool for the diagnostic radiologist in breast cancer imaging. However, many medical executives hesitate to offer this imaging modality because the verdict is still out on the cost effectiveness of tomosynthesis.

What is 3D Mammography?

3D mammography, also referred to as tomosynthesis, is a cutting edge diagnostic tool that is used in conjunction with traditional 2D mammography to increase the rate of early detection of breast cancer. Tomosynthesis has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a tool for early detection of breast cancer.

The procedure is performed simultaneously with a traditional 2D mammogram. While the patient is in position for a traditional mammogram, an additional X-ray arm makes an arc around the breast, taking fifteen images over a four-second period at various angles. Computer processing after the mammogram procedure then creates 3D slice images of the breast. Tomosynthesis enables physicians to see breast tissue with much greater resolution, making this technology especially valuable for women with dense breast tissue and those at high risk for developing breast cancer. It should be noted that not all patients would necessarily benefit from this new technique. Women may ultimately need to meet certain criteria, such as those having dense breasts, or a known mammographic abnormality, in order to benefit from 3D mammography.

Benefits of 3D Mammography

The most important benefit, from a patient perspective, is the potential for fewer callbacks for additional screening and testing, due to the clarity of the image. From the physician’s perspective, diagnosis of breast cancer may be made with more certainty secondary to the clarity of the 3D images.

3D Mammography Services from SteleRAD

Hospitals, medical centers, and other healthcare providers in South Florida can get access to 3D mammography services from experienced radiologists at SteleRAD in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. Call 954-358-5250 for more information or contact us online.

Cost Effectiveness of 3D Mammography

The cost effectiveness of institutions providing tomosynthesis was illustrated and presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America by researchers Vivek Kalra, Brian Haas, Howard Forman, and Liane Philpotts, all of Yale University School of Medicine.

This group of researchers studied 13,158 patients, including 6,100 individuals who received the combination of tomosynthesis and traditional 2D mammography, along with 7,058 patients who received traditional 2D mammography alone.

The findings associated with this group revealed the recall rate of patients who received the combination screening was 8.4%, whereas, the recall rate for the traditional 2D alone group was around 12%; roughly a 30% decrease in recall rates when tomosynthesis is done in conjunction with 2D mammography.

From a financial perspective, due to the decrease in recall rates, tomosynthesis yields a financial savings of $10,185 per 1,000 women screened.

SteleRAD’s Impact on Hospitals, MRI Centers and Physician Practices

SteleRAD, has a full complement of board certified, fellowship trained mammographers who provide world-class mammography services in South Florida. In addition, most of SteleRAD’s radiologists have also completed fellowship training in various subspecialties of radiology, including neuroradiology, pediatric imaging, P.E.T. imaging, ultrasound and interventional radiology. Many have also been appointed as academic staff of major institutions.

SteleRAD can offer hospitals, imaging centers and large physician practices 30-years of superior patient care, more accurate reads and interpretations, and greater operational efficiencies.