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Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: 3D Breast Biopsy Technology

Our focus this week is on a new technique doctors can now use to perform breast biopsies.  It is specifically useful for people who have had a finding show up on a 3D mammogram. 

3D mammography, or tomosynthesis, is a fairly new technology that gives doctors a better view of potential breast cancers during annual screening mammograms.

“3D mammography really gives the radiologist, at the first time, at the time of screening, a lot more information about the breast, and so they can see through more of the breast tissue,” noted Dr. Lynn Dengel, a fellowship-trained breast surgeon with Virginia Breast Care.  

Now, thanks to 3D breast biopsy technology, if there is something that needs investigated further, additionally imaging is not needed. 

“By adding 3D mammography and 3D biopsy we now have a comprehensive suite of services that we can provide to our breast patients...and we don't have to get additional imaging,” noted Dr. Dengel. 

While breast biopsies can be done using ultrasound, MRI or 3D imaging, if something is found with 3D imaging, 3D biopsy does have to be used.  In other cases, doctors can choose the type of imaging to use. 

“Depending on location of lesions and tolerance level of the patient, there are different options we can take,” noted Dr. Dengel.  “Certain procedures are done lying down and others are done sitting up, so we work with each patient to determine what will work best for them.” 

The good news is, for patients, no matter what type of imaging is used for a breast biopsy, the actual procedure is pretty much the same. 

"The technique of the actual biopsy procedure is almost the same whether or not you're using ultrasound or 3D mammography to guide that biopsy," noted Dr. Dengel.

For more information on this topic, please call 1-800-SENTARA.  If you have questions about your health you’d like us to answer, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.

Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday

Do you have health questions? Get the answers every Monday morning from the experts in our feature: Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

To submit your questions, email them to healthquestions@nbc29.com. Then, tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

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