What is Tomosynthesis/3D?

What is Breast Tomosynthesis/3D?

Overlapping breast tissue on a traditional 2D Mammogram can obscure or mimic suspicious findings. Breast Tomosynthesis/3D captures multiple images of the breast from different angles, allowing our Radiologists to examine the breast tissue one thin layer at a time—providing clearer visibility of the breast tissue and eliminating obscured or misrepresented findings that may occur with standard 2D Mammography. This leads to more accurate results, fewer callbacks for extra views and greater peace of mind.


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Why would my physician recommend Breast Tomosynthesis/3D?

Your physician may recommend Breast Tomosynthesis/3D because it improves breast cancer detection.

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How is Breast Tomosynthesis/3D different from Traditional Mammography?

During 2D Digital Mammography, a single image of the breast is created, resulting in overlapping breast tissue. There are times when this overlapping tissue can hide a suspicious finding, resulting in delayed treatment or could mimic a suspicious finding, resulting in a callback for additional exams. 3D Mammography (Breast Tomosynthesis/3D) creates multiple thin images of the breast, therefore reducing the challenge that comes with overlapping breast tissue. During Breast Tomosynthesis/3D, multiple images of each breast are taken from various angles during one sweeping motion of the mechanical arm, which takes only seconds longer than a traditional 2D Digital Mammogram. 

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What are the benefits of Breast Tomosynthesis/3D?

Studies have shown that the additional information provided by viewing three-dimensional images has resulted in:

  • Improved breast cancer detection
  • Improved characterization of suspicious findings
  • Improved localization of masses
  • Fewer callbacks (and associated follow-up procedures)
  • Greater peace of mind
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What should I expect during Breast Tomosynthesis/3D?

During Breast Tomosynthesis/3D, the breast is positioned on the machine in the same way it is for traditional 2D Mammograms with at least two views of each breast taken. The arm of the machine makes a sweeping circular motion, taking multiple images of the breast as it moves for each view. Once complete, the images are sent to the computer where they can be viewed by the Radiologist.

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Is Breast Tomosynthesis/3D covered by insurance?

Due to the newness of this technology, many health insurance companies do not cover this exam. To help offset the cost of offering this exciting new technology, while we will bill insurance for the Mammography exam, we may ask patients to pay a nominal fee for Breast Tomosynthesis/3D at the time of service.

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How do I schedule a Breast Tomosynthesis/3D screening with Fairfax Radiology?

Contact our Scheduling Department for an appointment:

Phone: 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm

Fax: 703.698.0864

Or click here to make an appointment request

Please have your written physician order and your insurance card in hand when making your appointment.

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When are appointments offered for Breast Tomosynthesis/3D?

For your convenience, appointments are available mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends at the locations listed above. Learn more about each location.

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Can I bring my children to my imaging appointment?

All imaging procedures require that only the patient remain in the room during the exam. Because the patient requires our full attention, we cannot provide supervision for any accompanying children. If you wish to bring your children, you must arrange for another adult to supervise your children during your procedure. Families of Obstetrical patients will be allowed in the room for a limited period of time, but only when an adult accompanies the minor children.

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Choose Lower Dose 3D today

3D mammography is beneficial for all women and for all breast densities. This brochure explains what a 3D mammogram is and why you should have one.

Have questions about your insurance coverage?