Olivia Hospital & Clinic has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in mammography as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Mammography is a specific type of imaging test that uses a low-dose X-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report that can be used for continuous practice improvement.
What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a specific type of breast imaging that uses low-dose x-ray to detect cancer early before women experience symptoms. Mammography is the most effective method of early breast cancer detection.
- Schedule your mammogram the week following your period.
- Please inform the technologist if there is a possibility that you may be pregnant.
- If you have breast tenderness, take a mild pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen one hour prior to your scheduled mammogram. If caffeine causes breast tenderness, refrain from caffeinated beverages for one week prior to your mammogram.
- Do not wear deodorant, lotion or body powder on your chest or under your arms, as these may appear on the mammogram and interfere with correct diagnosis.
- A mammogram typically takes 20-30 minutes.
During the Exam
During your mammogram the technologist will position your breast in the mammography unit. Your breast will be placed on a special platform and compressed with a clear plastic paddle. Breast compression is necessary to even out the breast thickness to visualize all tissue.
After your Exam
After your appointment your images will be interpreted by a Radiologist and results will be sent to your referring Provider. Your Provider will contact you with the results of the imaging.
Additional imaging may be necessary for further diagnostic evaluation, such as a diagnostic mammogram or an ultrasound. This does not necessarily indicate an abnormality was found or that your mammogram was not properly obtained, but that additional images are needed to ensure all breast tissue is fully evaluated.
Benefits of 3D Mammography
Tomosynthesis, also known as tomo or 3D, is an advanced type of mammogram that uses the same x-ray technology as standard 2D mammograms. In 3D exams, the camera moves in an arc over the breasts, taking images from various angles. This type of exam provides images of the breast in layers, making it easier to find abnormalities.
What are the benefits of 3D mammography?
- Higher cancer detection rate
- Decreased need for additional testing
- FDA approved
- The widest angle of 50 degrees
- Image acquisition every 2 degrees
- More 3D information for a more informed decision
What is the difference between 2D and 3D mammograms?
- Uses x-rays to create two-dimensional, flat images of your breasts.
- Takes images from the top and side of your breast.
- Has the potential for breast tissues to overlap during compression, giving them an abnormal appearance.
- If your mammogram appears abnormal, you may need additional imaging.
- Most insurances cover the cost of an annual 2D screening mammogram.
- Is recommended for women with dense breast tissue; however, it is beneficial regardless of your breast density.
- Uses x-rays to create three-dimensional (3D) images of your breasts. The arc moves over your breast, taking multiple images, so there is less potential for tissue overlap.
- You are less likely to be called back for additional mammogram images.
- There may be an out-of-pocket cost for this exam (depending on your insurance plan).
If you would like your annual screening mammogram to include 3D mammography, please request 3D when you schedule your appointment.
Check with your insurance provider to determine if any additional costs are associated with 3D mammography.