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Published on September 15, 2017

3D Mammograms Offered at MidMichigan Medical Centers in Alma, Midland

A new technology that improves breast cancer detection while reducing false positives will soon be available in both Alma and Midland. 3D mammography, also known as Digital Breast Tomosynthesis, will be offered at MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot beginning September 18. It is currently available at the Center for Women’s Health on the campus of MidMichigan Medical Center- Midland. MidMichigan plans to add this technology at MidMichigan Medical Center- Mt. Pleasant in early winter of 2018.

This new technique uses the same digital mammography equipment as a regular mammogram, but captures additional layers of images through the breasts. It takes just a few seconds more than a regular mammogram. Compared to regular digital screening mammography, which captures only two images of each breast, the 3D technology captures many more images. This allows the radiologists to visualize masses from normal breast tissue more clearly.

“Research has shown that using breast tomosynthesis in large populations results in improved cancer detection rates and fewer call backs for additional imaging,” said Jeff Morrill, D.O., a radiologist at MidMichigan Medical Centers – Gratiot and Mt. Pleasant. “Therefore, the benefits are thought to include earlier detection of small breast cancers that may be ‘hidden’ using conventional mammography, better characterization of a mass, fewer unnecessary biopsies or additional tests and a better way to assess patients with dense breast tissue.”

“All patients who need mammograms can benefit from this technology regardless of their breast density,” said Dr. Morrill. “Patients who schedule mammograms at MidMichigan’s locations in Alma or Midland will automatically be asked if they would like a 3D mammogram in addition to traditional mammography views. They do not need a special physician order to have 3D views.”

Most insurance plans now cover routine screening mammograms for eligible patients at no cost to the patient as part of their preventive benefits. A growing number of plans will also cover the additional charges to capture the extra 3D images when a regular mammogram is already covered. However, MidMichigan encourages patients to check with their insurance plan for specific coverage details. For easy reference, the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for 3D mammography are CPT 77063, when performed with a screening mammogram, and CPT G0279 when performed with a diagnostic mammogram.

Those who would like to learn more about this new technology may visit www.midmichigan.org/3dmamm. Patients who would like to schedule a mammogram at one of MidMichigan Health’s locations should obtain a mammogram order from their doctor and then call (989) 633-5252 or toll free (888) 367-2778.