Banner Lassen Medical Center, Susanville, Calif., began offering 3-D mammography to improve patient comfort and increase efficiency. With the new low-dose 3-D mammography system, the x-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple images in seconds.
Three-dimensional tomosynthesis images have been found to identify 40% more invasive cancers than 2-D alone, according to Robert Leckie, MD, the medical director for medical imaging at Banner Lassen. Three-dimensional tomosynthesis also offers a 20%-40% reduction in false positives and the need for additional imaging, he added.
The new system generates 2-D images from the 3-D information, so physicians can compare current images with previous images that were taken in the 2-D format.
In addition to improved image quality, Leckie said the new unit reduces the amount of time a patient is under compression by more than half, increasing patient comfort.
The new machine is expected to accommodate nearly double the amount of patients as the conventional machine, making appointment scheduling more convenient.