What is 3D Mammography?

Approved by the FDA in 2011, 3D mammography is technology that allows for multiple images of breast tissue, and recreate it in a 3D image of the breast. Another term for 3D mammography is breast tomosynthesis.

A radiologist will have access to clearer images of the breast, because the 3D captures numerous slices of images within the breast, at various angles. After the images are taken, they form an unobstructed view of a 3D reconstruction of the breast. This makes the process of detecting masses and breast cancer much easier.

The recommended age for women to start getting annual mammograms has changed over the years. But, many medical professionals believe that it should start at 40 to get a good baseline, making it easier to detect abnormalities and breast cancer.

The age isn’t the only thing evolving. Many healthcare providers now offer 3D mammography.

To schedule Breast MRI exam please call us at (248) 740-0777.

How Do You Prepare for a Breast MRI?

When making the appointment, the office will most likely ask you the dates of your last menstrual cycle, from the first day of bleeding to the last. They ask this because they want to schedule the test 6-16 days after you started your last cycle. This is the best time to schedule a breast MRI, because abnormalities are better detected when hormones are not interfering with the breast tissue.

If you are currently taking a hormone replacement therapy, you must stop the treatment about 4-6 weeks prior to the test.

Breastfeeding does not preclude you from having a breast MRI, because the baby will absorb less than 1% of the contrast. This is no more than what the baby would receive if they were having the test done themselves. Of course, it’s a personal decision, but you are not required to stop breastfeeding prior to the test.

One other thing you can do prior to the scan, is to gather and bring with you any previous reports or tests on the breast, including mammograms, biopsies, and ultrasounds. The doctor who will be reading your MRI will be able to use them to interpret and evaluate the current condition of the breast tissue.

You do not have to fast before the test, nor stop any other medications, other than HRT. Other than that, and bringing previous reports, there are no special preparation steps to abide by before having a breast MRI.

What You Should Know about Breast MRI’s

When it comes to breast cancer, mammography is a proven source for early detection for most patients. Although, if the breast tissue is dense, it makes detection more difficult. Fortunately, a breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is far more effective in these cases.

Relatively new, a breast MRI is an exceptionally specialized test that utilizes a powerful magnet to capture hundreds of images within the breast. Typically, a non-radioactive contrast dye called gadolinium is injected intravenously prior to the start of the procedure, to help create sharper images. This helps in outlining any abnormality that might be present, because the dye tends to gravitate to abnormal tissue. However, a dye isn’t always used, especially if the patient has a sensitivity to iodine.

The patient is then required to remain still, while they are on a sliding table, which goes through a large enclosed tube, shaped like a cylinder. A patient should prepare for this test to run for about 45 minutes, once they are appropriately prepped.