Tuesday, July 31, 2012

GRMC Now Offers 3D Mammography

Women who undergo routine mammograms at Grinnell Regional Medical Center now have the latest screening and diagnostic technology available to them. GRMC is one of the first hospitals in Iowa to offer 3D breast tomosynthesis for breast cancer screening.

Breast tomosynthesis is a revolutionary technology that gives radiologists the ability to identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue.  During a tomosynthesis exam, multiple, low-dose images of the breast are acquired at different angles.  These images are then used to produce a series of one-millimeter thick slices that can be viewed as a 3D reconstruction of the breast.

The Hologic Dimensions system installed at GRMC offers exceptionally sharp breast images, an advanced ergonomic design providing more patient comfort, and a 3D tomosynthesis platform designed to deliver superior screening and diagnostic performance.

“By offering women the latest technology in mammography, GRMC hopes to increase the number of area women who will be routinely screened,” says Gina Fuller, GRMC director of radiology. “Early detection is the best defense. Patients who come to GRMC for a mammogram will notice little change from previous mammograms. The benefits will be improved accuracy, fewer callbacks, and peace of mind that you are taking the most progressive steps to take care of yourself.”

When patients arrive for their mammogram, a standard 2D exam will be performed. The 3D tomosynthesis will be offered to all patients. Insurance carriers typically cover the cost of a 2D digital mammogram. You can choose from a traditional digital mammogram or opt for a digital mammogram plus tomosynthesis (3D) for a nominal fee.

GRMC received new digital mammography equipment earlier in 2012 through a grant by a private foundation. GRMC was able to secure the tomosynthesis upgrade through a special program with Hologic. The only other institutions offering this technology are Broadlawns Medical Center, Iowa Radiology, and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in a research study mode.

“We had this great opportunity to establish GRMC ahead of most hospitals and clinics in Iowa,” Fuller says. “This leading edge technology will make a real difference in the lives of area residents.”

If you would like to schedule a mammogram or have questions about this important breast health exam, please contact your primary care provider or call the GRMC Radiology department at 641-236-2355.

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