Atrium Health Navicent Breast Care Center, a Facility of Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center

Conventional mammography relies on film to record and display mammographic images. The film is viewed on a "light box" by the radiologist. Digital mammography utilizes computers and specially designed detectors to produce images of the breast that can be displayed on high-resolution monitors. With digital mammography, the magnification, orientation, brightness and contrast can be electronically enhanced by the radiologist. This is especially important for patients with dense fibro-glandular breast tissue that can hide problem areas.

When the radiologist reads a digital mammogram, computer-aided detection (CAD) is used. CAD acts as a second pair of eyes as the computer points out areas of the breast that could be problematic.

From the patient's perspective, a digital mammogram is the same as a film-screen mammogram. The technologist will position and compress the breast the same as for a standard mammogram. All mammography uses low dose radiation, but the radiation dose may be less for digital mammography depending on the size and density of the breast. Conventional mammography requires several minutes to develop the film while digital mammography produces the image on the computer monitor in less than a minute after the exposure. Therefore, digital mammography provides a shorter exam time.

3D Mammography Technology

Breast Care Center, Navicent Health

Image of a PDF announcement of the arrival of 3D imaging in 2016