This is an imaging technique that uses X-rays to capture a single 2D image of the breast. The latest advance in mammography is Digital Tomosysnthesis that generates 3-dimensional images of the breast with the help of X-rays. Hence, it is sometimes referred to as 3D mammography. The image taken in digital mammography comes alive on the computer screen. The image can be zoomed in, which makes it easy to detect abnormalities in real-time.
With digital tomosynthesis, it is possible to take multiple pictures of the internal anatomy of the breast at different angles. The images are then combined by special software and displayed on the computer screen as a 3D picture. Some abnormalities may escape traditional techniques; hence, a 3D mammogram is more accurate in detecting cancer early.
The patient is asked to place the breast between two plates on the scanning instrument. The plates will flatten the breast but not to the extent of generating pain, though there may be slight discomfort due to the position. Pictures are taken of the breast from the top, side and bottom. Though the breast placement may be intermittent, the entire process takes about 30 minutes.
Ask your doctor any questions you may have about the digital mammography or tomosysnthesis. If you experience breast soreness during menstruation, it is advisable to schedule the mammogram more than one week prior to your period.
Do not apply any powder, freshener, lotion or deodorant before the procedure. Again, remove all metal objects, like jewellery, watch and hairpins from your person before the mammogram