SWMC Board approves 3D mammography

December 14, 2018

Patients will soon have access to enhanced breast imaging services closer to home with the approved purchase of a 3D mammography unit at Southwest Medical Center in Liberal. The SWMC Board of Trustees unanimously approved the new 3D unit, which will replace the current 2D digital mammography system installed in 2008.

The 3D mammography unit uses digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), which has become the standard of care for the detection of early breast cancer in patients. Southwest Medical Center’s Diagnostic Imaging Director, Kelly Denton, explains this new technology can enhance the quality of diagnostic services provided for patients.

“This 3D mammography system provides more accurate cancer detection with fewer patient recalls for additional testing. This is extremely important,” Denton explained. “Better sensitivity translates into earlier detection and more lives saved. Lower recall rates also decrease the anxiety our patients may have experienced while awaiting further testing for an accurate diagnosis.”

Additionally, this 3D mammography unit enables physicians to take a core biopsy if a suspicious lesion is found. The new unit can visually guide physicians in performing a stereotactic biopsy to remove tissue samples for testing, which is less invasive than surgical biopsies.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and private insurance companies must cover 3D mammography services for beneficiaries under their plans beginning January 2019. Southwest Medical Center plans to install this system and launch 3D mammography services during the first quarter of 2019.