Doc Talk: 3D Mammography Screenings

At Women’s Health Connecticut, we want to make your annual screenings and appointments easy, accessible, and comfortable. We are happy to announce that 10 of our WHC practices now offer full-service, same day, annual exams and 3D mammography screenings. To learn more about this service, we spoke to Dr. Helen Trymbulak of Greater Hartford Women's Health Associates, which recently opened a new in-office 3D mammography suite in their West Hartford location.

Can you explain how this new mammography service works and how it will be beneficial to women?

Instead of scheduling two separate appointments at different offices for their annual GYN exam and mammogram, patients can now schedule these two appointments on the same day in one office location. This new mammogram service is intended to streamline patient care and provide a more "full-service" experience in-office. This set up will provide a convenience to patients with less traveling time and less interruption of busy daily schedules.

How do these dual appointments work?

To set up this full-service appointment, patients need to be due for both their annual exam and mammogram, and it needs to be at least one year and one day since their last exams for both. Patients will be scheduled for their mammogram study first. This will be followed by a visit with their provider for a GYN exam approximately 30 minutes later. The entire experience is intended to be completed within one hour. Patients can still elect to get a mammogram even if it is not coordinated with an annual appointment.

What type of mammography screening this, and why is it important for women to have their annual mammogram?

Annual mammography screenings and exams help women detect early signs of breast cancer. Starting at age 40 women have the choice to start screening for breast cancer with mammograms, if they wish to do so. If your family has a history of breast cancer or abnormal screenings, you should speak with your ObGyn provider to see if you should start screenings at a younger age. From ages 45 and up we recommend that women receive an annual mammogram. Traditional mammography uses X-rays to look for breast cancer in women without symptoms.

Greater Hartford Women's Health Associates has partnered with Jefferson Radiology to offer our patients up-to-date, state of the art 3D imaging. 3D mammography, or digital breast tomosynthesis, is a new technology. 3D mammography creates three-dimensional images of breast tissue. This imaging study is performed with the same equipment and in the same way as conventional mammography, but it uses computer software to create more detailed images. 3D mammography makes it easier to find abnormalities, which in turn results in fewer false-positives and can help lower stress and anxiety surrounding extra testing.

How to schedule your full-service mammogram and annual exam:

To set up your dual mammography and annual exam appointments at Greater Hartford Women’s Health Associates, call their office at (860) 561-7222, or request an appointment, here. See a full list of our practices that offer in-office mammography and annual exams, here.

How to read your breast imaging report: