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Professional Radiology and Outpatient Imaging Services

3D Mammogram

Tomosynthesis, also known as tomo or 3D, is an advanced type of mammogram that uses the same x-ray technology as standard 2D mammograms. In 3D exams, the camera moves in an arc over the breast, taking images from various angles. This type of exam provides images of breast tissue in layers, making it easier to find abnormalities.

What are the Benefits of Tomo (3D) Mammography?

  • Higher cancer detection rate.
  • Decreased need for additional testing.
  • More accurate – finds on average 20-65% more invasive cancers than standard mammography alone.

Who Should Have a Tomo (3D) Mammogram?

A tomo (3D) exam is more accurate for women of all ages, with both dense and non-dense breasts.

What Should I Expect During My Tomo (3D) Mammogram?

The process of a tomo (3D) exam is the same as a standard 2D exam. The technologist will position you, compress your breast, and take images from different angles. There’s no additional compression required with a tomo (3D) exam, and it only takes a few extra seconds.

How Does Tomo (3D) Mammography Work?

A tomo (3D) exam allows the radiologist (physician) to examine your breast tissue layer by layer. So, instead of viewing all of the complexities of your breast tissue one image at a time, as with standard 2D mammography, details are more visible and no longer hidden by the tissue above or below.

Scheduling a Procedure

Tomo (3D) and standard 2D mammography both provide accurate results. If you would like your annual screening mammogram to include tomo, request 3D when scheduling your appointment. Check with your insurance provider to determine if any additional costs are associated with tomo (3D) mammography.

Types of Mammogram

2D Mammogram:

  • Is the current standard of care.

Tomo (3D) Mammogram:

  • Recommended for women with dense breast tissue; however, the exam is beneficial regardless of breast density.

How are Images Taken?

2D Mammogram:

  • Uses x-rays to create 2D, flat images.
  • Takes images from the top and side of your breast.
  • Potential for breast tissues to overlap during compression, giving an abnormal appearance.

Tomo (3D) Mammogram:

  • Uses x-rays to create 3D images.
  • The camera moves in an arc over your breast, taking multiple images.
  • Less potential for tissues to overlap and appear abnormal.


2D Mammogram:

  • If your mammogram appears abnormal, you will need additional imaging; 10% of women who have 2D mammograms will be called back.

Tomo (3D) Mammogram:

  • You are less likely to be called back for additional imaging because of the 3D technology.

Insurance Coverage

2D Mammogram:

  • Most insurances cover the cost.

Tomo (3D) Mammogram:

  • May be an out-of-pocket cost, depending on your insurance.