Digital Breast Tomosynthesis

Doctors have used X-rays to find and identify breast cancer for more than half a century. From older screen film technology to today’s digital mammograms, advances in breast imaging have decreased the small radiation dose with a mammogram while increasing early detection of breast cancer and improving survival. The newest type of mammogram is called digital breast tomosynthesis, which is sometimes called 3D mammography.


About digital breast tomosynthesis?


Digital breast tomosynthesis is a type of mammogram that allows radiologists to look at several thin-layer images of the breast instead of one single image, as in standard digital mammography.


A comparison of screen film mammogram (left), standard digital mammogram (center) and digital breast tomosynthesis (right)

  • A 3-D mammogram is taken in the same position as a standard digital mammogram, with about the same amount of time and radiation.
  • Studies have found that 3-D mammography helps radiologists find more cancers than standard digital mammogram.
  • A 3-D mammogram also decreases the chance of having to come back for follow-up tests (false positive) such as another mammogram, ultrasound or biopsy.
  • Studies have shown that digital breast tomosynthesis may help radiologists read screening mammograms in all types of patients, so all women can have a screening 3-D mammogram. You may choose screening 3-D mammogram or choose a standard digital mammogram.
  • 3-D mammography is offered at all of the UW Health breast imaging sites in the Madison area.

Insurance Coverage and Cost for Digital Breast Tomosynthesis


Insurance coverage for 3-D mammography  varies. Medicare and many other insurance plans provide coverage for screening mammography using 3-D technology. Check with your insurance provider to find out if 3-D mammography is covered and if you are responsible for any additional costs.


The following information below may help you when you discuss coverage with your insurance company:

  • Digital breast tomosynthesis is billed to insurance using CPT 77063.
  • To find out the cost of digital breast tomosynthesis at UW Health, please call PriceLine at (608) 263-1507.
  • The fee for digital breast tomosynthesis is in addition to the fee for a standard digital screening mammogram.



If you have further questions regarding digital breast tomosynthesis, please contact the Breast Center at (608) 266-6400 or the 1 S. Park Clinic at (608) 287-2050.