The advantages of 3D mammograms

3D digital mammography at VMH ...
3D digital mammography at VMH ... Veterans Memorial Hospital is beginning its fourth year of offering 3D mammography. Pictured above is Renee Stokman, Mammographer at Veterans Memorial Hospital, with a patient at the 3D mammography machine at the hospital. Submitted photo.

by Renee Stokman, Mammographer, Veterans Memorial Hospital

I’ve heard about 3D Mammograms…why are they better?
Veterans Memorial Hospital is proud to be offering, starting our fourth year, this wonderful new equipment to the members of our community. When you come in for your 3D mammogram, you really won’t notice much of a difference compared to the 2D (regular) mammogram. We still start with two images of each breast, and we still use compression to get adequate visualization of the breast. When we take your images, we get an additional set of thin slices of your breast. The images we get are similar to a CT scan, where the doctor is able to scroll through your breast slice by slice. When we view the breast this way, we can detect smaller cancers earlier. There is also a lower chance that you will get called in for additional images due to overlapping dense breast tissue.

How much does it cost?
Most insurance companies are covering 3D mammograms, including Medicare.  If personal insurance does not cover 3D, there is only a $55 charge.

Does everyone need 3D mammography?
3D mammograms are especially beneficial for women that have dense, fibrous breast tissue but are also advantageous for women with more fatty breast tissue.

Do I need a doctor’s order to get my mammogram?
No! You can call on your own to schedule this. Even if you have had your previous mammograms done at different facilities, you can still come to Veterans Memorial Hospital to get the 3D mammogram. Call Veterans Memorial Hospital at 563-568-3411 to schedule a 3D mammogram. Mammograms can be scheduled Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.