Mahaska Health Partnership has added new, state-of-the-art breast imaging technology by Siemens called 3D breast tomosynthesis. This technology, the most advanced in the region, takes aim at improving breast cancer detection, reducing false-positive findings and cutting patient call-backs.
“Not all mammography technology is created equal,” said MHP Director of Radiology Julie Hartke. “While 2D mammograms produce a flat image of a patient’s breast, the 3D technology of True Breast Tomosynthesis takes 25 images of the breast from many angles as the X-ray tube moves across the breast.”
Siemens technology provides a 50-degree arc, which allows the technologist to build a 3D rendition of the breast and allows doctors to see the breast tissue in fine detail. Radiologists can then see more clearly through breast tissue that may be overlapping or through the tissue of women with dense breasts. Julie said doctors are better able to detect and diagnose small tumors and rule out abnormalities that may have looked suspicious in the patient’s 2D mammogram.
“Clinical data has demonstrated that the addition of 3D digital breast tomosynthesis to a patient’s traditional 2D digital mammogram increases detection of breast tumors,” Julie explained. “MHP chose the True Breast Tomosynthesis option because it gives us wide-angle image acquisition that helps our physicians see more than traditional 2D mammography alone.”
Dr. Akhtar Ashraf, radiologist at MHP, said that by reducing the distortion created by tissue overlap or dense breast tissue in 2D mammograms, physicians are better able to detect early breast cancers. “In clinical practice, increased diagnostic accuracy means fewer diagnostic biopsy procedures and fewer anxiety-inducing recalls, which typically contributes to both improved patient outcomes and reduced cost,” Dr. Ashraf explained.
Mahaska Health Partnership’s Radiology team completed special training and certification on the True Breast Tomosynthesis technology prior to offering the service publicly.
“Early detection is the best offense for breast cancer defense,” Dr. Tim Breon said. “Finding tumors early can be a life changer. We’re able to create treatment plans that are more effective. Our goal as a health provider is to continually seek out the technology that best lends to making a difference in the lives of our patients. We believe that Siemens True Breast Tomosynthesis technology can help us save lives.”
3D mammograms are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, as well as most insurance plans. However, some insurance plans do not cover the additional amount patients are charged for 3D mammograms. MHP is offering a substantial reduced rate of $10.00 for the 3D portion of a mammogram if it is not covered by a person’s insurance plan.
“We are so excited to be able to offer this level of technology to our region,” Julie stressed. “This is a fine example of our mission in action. We’ve improved process by taking what we offer to the next level while keeping our patient’s needs in mind.
“Our 3D equipment has the lowest dose of radiation in our region and we’ve elected to set our cost for the 3D portion of the exam at a nominal $10 if it is not covered by the patient’s insurance, making us the lowest in the region.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment for a mammogram, please contact MHP Radiology at 641.672.3322.