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3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis)

What is breast tomosynthesis (3D mammography)?
Breast tomosynthesis, also known as three-dimensional (3D) mammography, is an advanced form of mammography. Similar to a traditional digital mammogram, tomosynthesis requires compression of the breast. However, rather than creating a two-dimensional (2D) image, the technology generates multiple 1mm images through the breast. Although it is not truly a 3D image, it does allow the radiologist to analyze breast tissue differently, as each layer is separately examined. At present, tomosynthesis requires a higher dose of radiation, but the dose is still within acceptable FDA limits and should not be a concern to patients.

How is a 3D mammogram performed?
From a patient’s perspective, tomosynthesis is much like a regular mammogram requiring brief compression of the breast. However, the patient will be asked to hold her breath for a few seconds longer.

The yellow square indicates breast cancer.

Benefits of a 3D mammogram

  • Improved resolution and better visualization of the breast tissue than traditional mammography
  • Fewer call backs (false-positives) for additional images
  • Earlier detection of suspicious lesions
  • Improved imaging of dense breast tissue
  • Improved breast cancer detection rates -- especially invasive cancers

Why choose MIR physicians for your mammogram?
MIR researchers have been working with breast tomosynthesis since 2009, and Washington University Medical Center served as a test site for the first breast tomosynthesis system. Our team has more breast imaging expertise and tomosynthesis experience than any other imaging center or radiology group in St. Louis. Our radiologists are national leaders, award-winning teachers and compassionate physicians. Each physician is board-certified with a subspecialty in breast imaging.

Insurance and appointments
We accept most major insurance plans, and while we do accept walk-ins at most locations, we do recommend making an appointment to decrease your overall wait time.

Related physicians
(St. Louis City & St. Louis County)
Cheryl Herman, MD
Michelle Lee, MD
Steven Poplack, MD
Kim Wiele, MD

(St. Charles County)
Meredith Byers, MD
Heather Garrett, MD

To schedule your mammogram, call:

  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital Center for Advanced Medicine: (314) 454-7500
  • Barnes-Jewish West County Outpatient Imaging Center: (314) 996-8080
  • The Highlands: (314) 454-7500
  • Barnes-St. Peters Hospital (636) 916-9320
  • Progress West Hospital (636) 344-1702
  • Siteman Mammography Van: (314) 454-7500
  • Center for Advanced Medicine - South County: (314) 454-7500