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3-D Breast Imaging Comes To South Florida

MIAMI (CBS4) - The wave of the future in mammograms is here. The traditional digital mammograms are being replaced with 3D technology.

It's called tomosynthesis, a word that will become common place throughout the next few years.

According to CBS4 Health Reporter Cynthia Demos, it looks similar to the current digital mammography machine but the digital machines are more like high-definition television without the glasses, or as one doctor said, "it's like putting on a mask and going under water."

Tanya Terry opted for the 3-D mammography, "Because it's better. Better technology means better testing."

What's different is that traditional digital mammogram x-rays the breast. 3-D imaging allows you to look through each slice of the breast, making the reading much more accurate.

"It has been a huge, huge advance," said Dr. German Fraynd. "The new machine will catch problems about 20 to 22 percent of the time more than the digital  mammograms."

The machine can also rule out something that may be questionable.

Radiologist Dr. Eric Godreau found something in Tanya's mammogram that typically would have concerned him and worried Tanya. But the tomosynthesis was able to show that there was nothing to fear.

"You look here and it looks like it's cancer," Dr. Godreau explained. "But the tomo showed that it is all blend in. So it's nothing."

Tanya was immediately relieved. "It gives you a clearer image of your breast.  I don't think I'd ever have a regular 2-D mammo again."

If you don't have insurance this new diagnostic machine will typically run you about $300.  If you have insurance it's an extra $99. That's a price Tanya says is worth paying.

At the moment, the only 3-D mammograms offered in South Florida is available at the Comprehensive Breast Care Center in Aventura and Memorial Regional Hospital's Women's Imaging Center in South Broward.

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