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3D Mammography

What’s Better Than Early Detection? Earlier Detection!

Exciting new 3D Mammography technology can increase your chances of early invasive breast cancer detection by 41% 1

Red Bud Regional Hospital is proud to be the first provider in the county to offer the new technology, tomosynthesis, most commonly known as 3D mammography. This procedure has been added as a service line to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer for patients in Southern Illinois.

Why choose a 3D screening mammogram during your next breast cancer screening exam?

  • 3D mammography may increase the detection rate of invasive breast cancer by 41%, increases the detection of all breast cancers by 29% and reduces unnecessary callbacks by 15%1
  • In a standard 2D screening mammogram, the radiologist looks at two images of each breast. In a 3D screening mammogram, the radiologist can look at approximately 100 images of each breast.
  • The radiologist has the ability to view inside the breast layer-by-layer minimizing the effects of overlapping tissue.
  • 3D mammography is covered by most insurance plans as a preventative care benefit.

Comfortable Breast Cushions

In addition to offering mammography technology, Red Bud Regional Hospital offers a warmer, softer and more comfortable mammogram by using single-use breast cushion for every patient. These breast cushions are soft foam pads that can help relieve the discomfort many women feel during a mammogram. The cushion is placed on the surface of the image detector, providing the softer, more comfortable mammogram.

These pads have been clinically demonstrated to reduce discomfort associated with mammograms for most women. While the breast cushion provides comfort, it does not compromise the image quality needed for a routine mammogram.

What to Do the Day of Your Test

Deodorants and powders could be visible on your mammogram causing confusion with your readings. Please do not use these items the day of your mammogram. Additionally, do not use Desitin for two weeks prior to your mammogram.

When you arrive, you will check in at our admissions/registration desk conveniently located inside our front reception area. Please inform the receptionist that you are arriving for your mammogram. You will then be directed to the Imaging Department. During this time, our professional team of certified mammography technicians will complete your paperwork in preparation for your test.

Once you are brought into the mammography room you will be asked to undress from your waist up and will be given a gown to put on for your comfort.

During your test, a breast cushion will be used for your comfort. Your breast must be compressed to even out its thickness and permit the x-rays to penetrate the breast tissue. The pressure is applied for just a few seconds. The pressure is not harmful, but you may find it uncomfortable. This pressure also holds your breast still to decrease blurring from movement and minimizes the dose of radiation needed. You will be asked to remain very still and hold your breath.

Your screening mammogram will take approximately 15 minutes after which you may dress and return to your normal daily activities. Deodorant will be available for you as you dress.

Frequently Asked Questions


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Q. Is the radiation exposure level for a 3D mammogram safe?
A. Yes. The radiation exposure during a 3D mammogram remains below FDA guidelines.2
Q. Does the 3D mammogram take longer? Is there more pain?
A. For the average woman the total time of the exam is about 10 seconds longer. There is no increased pain when compared to a 2D mammogram.
Q. Is Red Bud Regional Hospital’s 3D equipment the same as 3D equipment in big cities?
A. Yes – this is the same equipment that would be used for a 3D screening mammogram throughout the United States.
Q. What if I typically have my mammogram elsewhere?
A. We will be glad to help you transfer your previous mammograms. Please speak with the scheduler when you are making your appointment.
Q. I don’t have a primary care physician? Can I still schedule a mammogram at Red Bud Regional Hospital?
A. Yes –the State of Illinois does not require a physician’s order to schedule a screening mammogram. We would be happy to provide information to you about the providers while you are here. Ask any staff member and they will assist you.
Q. Is your Imaging Department accredited?
A. Yes – the Imaging Department is accredited by the American College of Radiology. We have passed rigorous standards to be accredited to provide mammograms.
Q. I am nervous about scheduling my first mammogram. Can you give me any advice?
A. We know it can be stressful and we have worked very hard to make this a comfortable process. Mammogram technicians are very experienced. You are welcome to bring a friend along and they can wait with you in the lounging area to provide support.
Q. How will I receive my results?
A. A report will be faxed to your provider within 24 hours of your mammogram.

1 Friedewald, S. et al. Breast cancer screening using tomosynthesis in combination with digital mammography. 2014, June. Journal of the American Medical Association. Volume 311(24) 2499-2507
2 National Cancer Institute (2012, May 3). Yale study finds digital breast tomosynthesis cuts recall rates by 40 percent.

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