COVID-19 : Find updates & care resources here. If you're experiencing symptoms, call our 24-hr call centers: (406) 890-7272 for adults or (406) 890-7273 for children >

Breast Imaging/Digital Mammography

HealthCenter Default
Hologic® 3D MammographyTM Is at The Women’s Center!

3D MammographyTM is an extraordinary technology that lets your doctor see breast tissue in a way never before possible. This is the most exciting advancement in breast cancer detection in more than 30 years. Early detection of breast cancer is the key! That is why we were the first to bring digital mammography to the Flathead Valley in July 2007 and why we invested in this incredible 3DTM technology.

3DTM imaging captures multiple slices of the breast, all at different angles. The images are brought together to create a crystal-clear 3DTM reconstruction of the breast. The radiologist is then able to review the reconstruction, one thin slice at a time, almost like turning pages in a book. That makes it easier for doctors to see if there’s anything to be concerned about. And there’s less chance for a cancer to hide behind overlapping tissue.

What is 3D MammographyTM?

Digital tomosynthesis (pronounced toh-moh-SIN-thah-sis) creates a three-dimensional picture of the breast using X-rays. Digital tomosynthesis of the breast is different from a standard mammogram in the same way a CT scan of the chest is different from a standard chest X-ray.

Or think of the difference between a ball and a circle. One is three-dimensional, the other is flat. Digital tomosynthesis takes multiple X-ray pictures of each breast from many angles. The breast is positioned and compressed the same way it is in a conventional mammogram. The X-ray tube moves in an arc around the breast while 11 images are taken during a seven-second examination. Then the information is sent to a computer, where it is assembled to produce clear, highly focused three-dimensional images throughout the breast.

Is there more radiation dose?

Very low X-ray energy is used during the exam. A low-dose 3DTM exam is equal to or less than a traditional 2D mammogram dose. And the need do a second callback mammogram may not be necessary due to the clarity of the 3DTM.

How will my exam be different with 3DTM?

During the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over your breast, taking multiple breast images. There is no additional compression required, and it only takes a few seconds longer for each view.

Who can have a 3D MammographyTM exam?

It is approved for all women who would be undergoing a standard mammogram, in both the screening and diagnostic settings.

The Women's Center recommends that screening mammography begin at age 40 for women with average risk of breast cancer. Please refer to the Society of Breast Imaging for more information.

What is the difference between a screening and diagnostic mammogram?

A screening mammogram is your annual mammogram that is done every year. Sometimes the radiologist may ask you to come back for follow-up images, which is called a diagnostic mammogram, to rule out an unclear area in the breast or if there is a breast complaint that needs to be evaluated.

3D Mammography, 3D and Genius are trademarks and/or service marks of Hologic, Inc.