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What is a 3D Tomosynthesis Mammography Exam?

Breast tomosynthesis uses high-powered computing to convert digital breast images into a stack of very thin layers or “slices”—building what is essentially a “3-dimensional mammogram”.


During the tomosynthesis part of the exam, the X-ray arm sweeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images in just seconds. Very low X-ray energy is used so your exposure is about the same as that of a traditional mammogram. A computer then produces a 3D image of your breast tissue in one millimeter layers.


Now the radiologist can see breast tissue detail in a way never before possible. Instead of viewing all the complexities of your breast tissue in a flat image, the doctor can examine the tissue a millimeter at a time. Fine details are more clearly visible, no longer hidden by the tissue above and below.


We also utilize a advanced artificial intelligence cancer detection technology called iCAD to provide a second set of eyes to detect abnormalities and cancer.

There are two types of mammograms:


  • Screening Mammograms: Doctors and scientists agree that early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. If we find cancer in its earliest stages, the chances of surviving it are good. Until now, the best way to do that has been with digital mammography. Digital mammography uses a specially designed digital camera and a computer to produce an image that is displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor. While digital mammography is still one of the most advanced technologies available today, it is only a two-dimensional picture of the breast. Since the breast is composed of pockets of dense tissue surrounded by fat, when x-rayed, it creates an image that looks something like a smoky haze. The overlapping tissue in the image makes it difficult to see tiny “spots”, called microcalcifications, and other subtle signs of early cancer. In some cases, the radiologist may ask you to come back for a follow-up examination such as a diagnostic mammogram to rule out any suspicious areas.
  • Diagnostic Mammograms: If you or your doctor detects a lump or any other symptom of breast cancer, your doctor will request a Diagnostic Mammogram which may include additional, more detailed images and/or breast ultrasound.

We are accredited by CAR, the Canadian Association of Radiologists, and proud to be affiliated with Alberta Health Services’ Breast Cancer Screening Program (ABCSP).

Early Detection is the Key

Because our primary goal has always been to deliver the highest quality care to our patients, we are adding breast tomosynthesis to our breast health services.


We have chosen the Selenia® Dimensions® breast tomosynthesis system from Hologic® because we believe that if offers the best technology available. Please call our clinic to schedule your annual mammogram.

What to expect during your exam

  • A tomosynthesis exam is very similar to a traditional mammogram. Just as with a digital mammogram, the technologist will position you, compress your breast under a paddle and take images from different angles. A breast tomosynthesis exam may be used as a screening tool in conjunction with a traditional digital mammogram or may be used by itself for a diagnostic
  • During the tomosynthesis portion of the exam, your breast will be under compression while the x-ray arm of the mammography machine makes a quick arc over the breast, taking a series of
    breast images at a number of angles. This will only take a few seconds and all of the images are viewed by the technologist at their computer workstation to ensure they have captured adequate images for review by a radiologist.
  • The whole procedure time should be approximately the same as that of a digital mammogram. The technologist sends your breast images electronically to the radiologist, who studies them and
    reports results to either your physician or directly to you.
  • When the exam is complete, you may be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.
  • A results letter will be mailed directly to you from ABCSP. Your family doctor will receive a report from our radiologist; if you self-referred, you will need to provide your family physician’s information.

Exam Preparation

  • Please be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before your appointment to provide enough time to change and prepare for your examination.
  • This exam requires that you DO NOT wear any lotions/oils on the upper body, deodorant, powder or antiperspirant under your arms the day of your exam.
  • Please wear a two-piece outfit.
  • Avoid caffeine in order to reduce breast tenderness.
  • You will be asked to remove any necklaces or earrings prior to the exam.
  • Please note: if there is a chance that you are pregnant, the exam may not be possible.

Wait Times

Same – Next Day




All of our services are fully covered by Alberta Health Care.

Accepting Any Requsition

We accept requisition forms from any other diagnostic imaging company.


Diagnostic Facility