Lower Dose 3D Mammography (Breast Tomosynthesis)

RIA is pleased to be offering Lower Dose 3D mammography at all of our locations in Virginia and Maryland

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Why is a 3D mammogram better? What does "lower dose" mean?
Who is a candidate? Is it covered by insurance?
What if I decline the 3D?  

 

With tomosynthesis, the radiologist can see breast tissue detail in a way never before possible. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below. 

Why is a 3D mammogram better?

Earlier and easier detection – With conventional 2D mammography the radiologist is viewing the breast tissue in a flat image. Sometimes this tissue appears overlapped, making it difficult to see all the individual structures.  3D mammography allows the radiologists to more accurately pinpoint the size, shape and location of abnormalities.

 

Fewer call backs - In the past, if the radiologist saw an area that was questionable, the patient would be asked to return for additional imaging. By being able to see the breast tissue in smaller, thinner sections on the 3D mammogram the need for additional imaging is reduced.

What does “Lower Dose” mean?

When first approved by the FDA-3D mammography needed to be performed in combination with a conventional 2D mammogram. Since then the FDA has approved the “Lower Dose” technology, we now obtain those 2D images directly from the 3D dataset without the need for additional compression or x-ray exposure.

 RIA’s Lower Dose 3D mammogram uses significantly less x-ray exposure than conventional 3D mammograms.

Who is a candidate for Lower Dose 3D Mammography?

RIA recommends annual Lower Dose 3D mammography for all patients regardless of family history or breast density.

Is Lower Dose 3D mammography covered by insurance?

Several insurances including Medicare currently cover the inclusion of the 3D images as part of a mammogram.

 If your insurance company does not cover the 3D portion of the exam, you may choose to pay $30 at the time of service to include 3D imaging as part of your mammogram.

 The $30 is an eligible expense through your HSA (Health Spending Account) or your FSA (Flexible Spending Account).

RIA believes that all insurances should allow for the inclusion of this technology. In fact, several states have passed laws requiring insurance companies to cover 3D mammography. 

 Since Medicare allows for the inclusion of this technology it is likely most insurance companies will follow.

What if I decline the Lower Dose 3D Mammogram?

Although we highly recommend the 3D technology because of its higher rate of cancer detection, we can still perform a 2D mammogram.   Patients should be aware there is also a higher chance of recall associated with 2D mammography because our radiologists only have 4 images to evaluate in a 2D study versus an average of 400 images per 3D study.