Published on September 30, 2016

Gundersen offers a new option in screening mammography

The Gundersen Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care in La Crosse now offers women a choice when it comes to screening mammography:

  • Standard mammography with 2D pictures
  • Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) with 3D pictures

"Digital tomosynthesis obtains two sets of images of each breast at multiple angles, whereas a standard mammogram obtains two sets of images of each breast, each image obtained at one angle only," explains Gundersen breast radiologist Roxana Leinbach, MD.

A standard mammogram can sometimes create unclear results and false alarms due to overlapping layers of tissue. The benefit of DBT is that breast tissue can be evaluated layer by layer, making fine details more visible and no longer hidden by overlapping tissue.

Studies have shown that DBT:

  • Detects some cancers more readily, resulting in earlier diagnosis which, in turn, may result in less aggressive treatment and better outcomes
  • Decreases false positive recalls for additional imaging, resulting in less anxiety and decreased costs

Anyone woman who is due for a standard mammogram can elect to have a DBT. Currently, DBT is offered in La Crosse only at the Gundersen Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care.

"Although studies have shown all patients may benefit from DBT compared to standard mammography, patients with heterogeneously dense breasts, benefit more due to more tissue overlap," states Dr. Leinbach.

Medicare covers payment for DBT. If patients have private insurance, they should ask their insurance company if DBT is a covered benefit before scheduling an appointment. If DBT is not covered, the out-of-pocket fee is $75. Patients can call (608) 775-2886 to schedule a DBT.

For more information, contact the Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care via MedLink at (800) 336-5465. In La Crosse, call (608) 775-5465.

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