3D breast tomosynthesis uses high-powered computing to convert digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or "slices" - building what is essentially a 3-dimensional mammogram. The 3D images allow doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time. Very low X-ray energy is used during the screening examination - which takes about 10 seconds to acquire - so a patient’s radiation exposure is safely below the American College of Radiology (ACR) guidelines.
With 3D images, St. Clair Hospital diagnostic radiologists can see tissue detail in a way never before possible. Instead of viewing all of the complexities of a woman’s breast tissue in a flat 2D image, a radiologist can examine the tissue a millimeter at a time. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below.
When used together, 3D breast tomosynthesis and digital mammography have been proven to reduce "call-backs," scenarios in which patients are asked to return for follow-up examinations to rule out any suspicious areas. The use of 3D tomosynthesis has proven particularly beneficial in woman with dense breast tissue and has reduced the number of unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures.
The St. Clair Hospital Breast Care Center is on the Third Floor of the St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center Village Square, 2000 Oxford Drive, Bethel Park. To contact the center, please call 412.942.3177.