What is a 3D Mammogram?

By Dr. Randy Rudderman
In Plastic Surgery Articles

What is a 3D mammogram?

The medical term for a 3D mammography is Digital Breast Tomosythesis Technology. A 3D mammography is considered groundbreaking technology and is the latest advance in the fight against breast cancer.  It is available to all mammography patients at the time of their regularly scheduled mammograms.

If a woman chooses to have a tomosynthesis (3D) mammogram it will be performed during the same compression as the 2D or traditional screening mammogram. No extra breast pancakes required!

How does a 3D mammogram work?

Tomosythesis takes a series of images from multiple angles around the breast.  The additional pictures take only a few seconds longer.  A computer then builds a 3D model of the breast by reconstructing the images.  So, instead of looking at a flat or 2D image of the breast, your radiologist is examining a reconstructed 3-dimensional image of your breast, and arguably more thorough and complete image.

Do I need a special order from my doctor?

Patients do not need a different order from your doctor; your regular mammogram (2D) order includes this exam.

Is a 3D mammogram covered by my medical insurance?

Your insurance company will be billed for both the 2D & 3D combination exam.  Some insurance companies will cover a portion of the 3D mammography.  We recommend you call your insurance company to determine what your out of pocket expense will be.

What is the billing code for a 3D mammogram?

The CPT (or insurance billing code) is 76499.

Should I have a 3D mammogram, is it better?

While 2D digital mammography is still the gold standard, recent studies show that 3D mammography can unmask cancers hidden by dense tissue.   Also, a 3D mammogram can prevent patients from being recalled for more images due to overlap of normal tissue that can mimic cancer on a 3d mammogram.  (A good thing to know if you’ve ever been called back for a 2D mammogram; waiting for the results can be excruciating)

You have a choice!

Northside Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia is the first hospital in Atlanta to offer 3D mammograms.  The choice is yours.  Speak to your doctor and your insurance company.

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Dr. Randy Rudderman

Since 1989, Dr. Randy Rudderman has been in private Plastic Surgery practice in Atlanta, focusing on the full range of aesthetic procedures – eyelid surgery, breast augmentation and breast lifts, liposuction, abdominoplasty, facelifts and facial reconstruction, among others. He also has a distinguished career in the reconstructive surgery arena, including facial and breast reconstruction. He has worked as a key member of teams from several prestigious organizations – including the AO-ASIF (Association for the Study of Internal Fixation) Foundation in Davos, Switzerland, and has conducted research at Case Western Reserve University Medical Centers, CWRU Engineering School, and NASA – producing breakthroughs in joining the science of facial biomechanics and reconstructive Plastic Surgery with rapidly evolving technological innovations.

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