Unlike standard digital 2D mammography, tomosynthesis produces a series of layered images. These allow us to create a three-dimensional view of the breast. We can then hide overlapping tissue structures and provide a better assessment of the glandular breast tissue. In particular, the three-dimensional view produced by tomosynthesis has a clear advantage when examining an irregular or radiopaque mammary gland.
Large American and Scandinavian studies have shown a 20-65% increase in the rate of breast cancer detection compared to conventional mammography. At the same time, up to 40% fewer recalls were needed.
The tomosynthesis procedure
The procedure for a tomosynthesis mammogram exam is similar to that of conventional digital mammography.
During the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps over the breast at a 15 degree angle and, while doing so, takes 15 images in less than 4 seconds with a low radiation dose. These images are compiled to produce one 3D image. This spatial representation allows us to view and evaluate breast tissue in one-millimetre layers.