Do I Need A 3D Mammogram?

Do I Need A 3D Mammogram?

December 14, 2021
Everett Bonner, MD
Everett Bonner, MD

Breast Surgery



3D mammograms have revolutionized what we do now with mammograms. The old fashioned way was 2D mammograms that gives you two views, usually on plain film and it’s good. It’s the best that we had. It’s been around since the late sixties and early seventies, when we found out that mammograms were the standard of care and does decrease mortality by doing frequent mammograms. As if you noticed, nothing’s changed other than the technique, just the technology has changed. And now with 3D mammogram, we can see it through some of those densities. And some of those things that usually we used to biopsy in the past. Now, the imaging makes it more clear that some of these patients don’t always have to go to a biopsy, that the 3D mammogram and tomography really looks really good, and we can forgo some of these biopsies that were recommended in the past.


Suppose you live in a small town and the only access you have is to a 2d mammogram. That’s still okay. Mammograms have been around for 40, 50 years and 2D is just as good as a 3D. The images might be a little better in 3D, and sometimes you have less callbacks with 3D mammogram, but if all your town has is 2D, it is still a good idea to get your mammograms and have your radiologist go work with you if you have anything that’s abnormal… But no, don’t be afraid if you have 2D mammogram in your town, you don’t have to travel a hundred miles to get the 3D mammogram. It’s still okay and it is still a standard of care, the 2D.


Key Takeaways

1. 2D mammograms see two views and is good but 3D mammograms can help us see through some of the densities.

2. With 3D mammograms, we can avoid some biopsies.

3. If you don’t have access to a 3D mammogram, a 2D mammogram is still okay.