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Digital Mammography and Breast Tomosynthesis

Digital Mammography and Breast Tomosynthesis - What is it for

What is a Digital Mammography?

Mammography is a low dose X-ray examination of the breast to screen for breast abnormalities. In digital mammography, high resolution 2D image of the breast are produced and viewed on the computer screen and this is more accurate than conventional film-screen mammography for early breast cancer detection. Detection accuracy is also improved significantly with CAD, a computer-aided detection that offers “second opinion” in detecting abnormalities.

What is Digital Breast Tomosynthesis?

Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is 3D mammography of the breast and this allows doctors to examine breast tissue one layer at a time instead of one flat image. DBT may be used in conjunction with 2D digital mammography as an additional tool in screening where both 2D and 3D breast images are produced in a single breast compression or in a diagnostic mammography if you are recalled back.

For the patient, a DBT experience is very similar to a 2D digital mammography and very low dose X-ray will be used under FDA guidelines. The benefits of DBT as an additional screening tool are reduction in recall rates (‘call-backs”) of screening mammography, increase in sensitivity and cancer detection rate. DBT provides better lesion characterisation and precise lesion location. It has been reported that young women with dense mammographic breast tissue may benefit the most from DBT.

Before the appointment:

Important points to take note of

  • Schedule your examination at least one week after the start of your menstrual period when your breasts are least tender.
  • On the day of the procedure, do not use deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts as this may mimic microcalcifications.
  • Preferably wear a two-piece outfit as you have to undress from the waist up.
  • Bring along your prior breast images/CD/reports done outside CGH for the radiologist to make comparison if any.

How is the procedure performed?

  • The radiographer will ask you to describe any breast symptoms and perform a physical breast examination on you.
  • She will position your breast on the detector and gently compress it with a compression paddle for a few seconds. Compression is important to even out the breast thickness so that all the breast tissue can be visualized clearly.
  • You will feel pressure on the breast during compression and the radiographer will ensure that any discomfort is kept to a minimum.
  • Two X-rays per breast will be taken and you will be asked to change positions slightly between images.
  • The examination process usually takes about half an hour.

After my mammogram

For women presented with breast complaints, images taken will be reviewed by the radiologist and you are required to wait about an hour to determine if more imaging are required.

In women with no breast complaints, the images taken will be interpreted independently by two radiologists and radiographer will inform you when to expect your results.

Why do I require further imaging?

  • Do not be concerned if radiologist requests for additional views when your mammogram shows areas that require further investigation.
  • In some cases, additional breast information is obtained using a high resolution ultrasound to help the radiologist confirm the findings.
  • For your convenience, we accommodate these additional tests within one visit.

*Important Notes:

  • A screening mammogram detects most but not all breast cancers.
  • Have a screening mammogram every year if you are aged 40 to 49 years and every two years if you are aged so years and above.
  • Perform monthly breast self examinations and know the usual look and feel of your breasts.
  • See your doctor immediately if you notice any changes in your breasts, such as lump, nipple discharge or retraction, even if your screening mammogram has been normal.
  • Please inform our staff if you are pregnant.

Please take note that

  • Our counter staff will advise you on the charges involved.
  • To find out more about your procedure, visit the URL below:
  • For general enquires or X-ray appointment matters, please call us at:
    Tel: 6850 4848 or Fax: 6260 2417

Digital Mammography and Breast Tomosynthesis - Symptoms

Digital Mammography and Breast Tomosynthesis - How to prevent?

Digital Mammography and Breast Tomosynthesis - Causes and Risk Factors

Digital Mammography and Breast Tomosynthesis - Diagnosis

Digital Mammography and Breast Tomosynthesis - Treatments

Digital Mammography and Breast Tomosynthesis - Preparing for surgery

Digital Mammography and Breast Tomosynthesis - Post-surgery care