HCHC offers 3-D mammography

Written by Theresa Rose on October 4, 2016

Early detection is the best protection against breast cancer. Henry County Health Center patients can be assured that they are getting advanced breast imaging with HCHC’s Hologic Selenia Dimensions 3-D mammography.


Breast tomosynthesis, often referred to as 3-D mammography, allows doctors to see masses and distortions associated with cancers and precancerous cells significantly more clearly than conventional 2-D mammography. Instead of viewing all of the complexities of breast tissue in a flat image, as with traditional 2-D mammography, fine details are more visible with 3-D imaging and no longer hidden by the surrounding tissue.


A 3-D mammography exam is very similar to having a traditional 2-D mammogram. Like a 2-D mammogram, the technologist will position the patient, compress the breast, and take images from different angles. However, with the 3-D mammogram the radiologist can see finer details throughout the breast, with the procedure taking less than 10 seconds.


“Patients will not necessarily notice a difference in the procedure. They will still be placed under compression to acquire the images,” explained Deb Steenblock, HCHC Mammography Quality Control Coordinator. “The difference between 2-D and 3-D mammography is that 3-D acquires more images per exposure giving the radiologist more information.”


Studies have shown that 3-D mammograms result in the following benefits for patients:

  • 30-35 percent increase in cancer detection
  • 11 percent decrease in biopsy rate
  • An approximate 40 percent reduction in recall rates
  • 40-50 percent increase in invasive cancer detection


In addition, 3-D mammography has superior diagnostic accuracy for all breast types. Very low x-ray energy is used during the exam, with the total patient dose being well within the FDA safety standards for mammography.


HCHC’s mammography technicians are specifically trained in this area of imaging. In addition to offering cutting-edge 3-D mammography, HCHC’s Women’s Center provides a private and comfortable waiting area with direct entry to mammography, bone density and ultrasound testing. To schedule a mammogram, contact the Imaging Services Department at 319.385.6157.

Cost of 3-D Mammography
There is an additional $60 charge for 3-D mammography ($28 technical fee and $32 radiologist professional fee). Breast tomosynthesis is a relatively new procedure and may not meet all insurance providers’ medically necessary criteria. Therefore, patients choosing to not pay the additional fee for 3-D mammography at the time of service may choose to have 2-D mammography.