Breast Imaging: 3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis)

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We offer the full breadth of services to screen for and diagnose breast cancer. To learn more about breast imaging services, call 310-301-6800.

What is 3D mammography?

3D mammography (digital breast Tomosynthesis) is a process that may find breast cancer early, when it is most treatable. 3D mammograms allow your radiologist to see your breast tissue details more clearly and may uncover breast cancer that would otherwise be hidden by overlying breast tissue.

UCLA was the first facility in California to become 100 percent digital and among the first medical centers in the region with the resources and expertise to offer 3D mammography.

How is 3D mammography different?

3D mammography provides radiologists with multiple, thin-section images, allowing the radiologist to evaluate your breast tissue layer by layer. During the exam, the x-ray arm moves in a small arc over your breast and acquires multiple low-dose images, which are reconstructed into a 3D image. Conventional 2D mammograms obtain two images of the breast.

2D vs. 3D mammography infographic

Advantages of 3D mammograms

Numerous studies (PDF) showed 3D mammography increased invasive breast cancer detection rates by 40%. Additionally, 15% fewer patients were "called back" and asked to return for additional evaluation.

According to the National Cancer Institute, about half of all women screened annually within a 10-year period will be asked to return for additional evaluation at least once.  

What to Expect During Your Exam

  • The process of 3D mammography is very similar to 2D digital mammography and takes the same amount of time.
  • Images of each breast will be taken from the top and side of the breast. Pressure will be applied while taking the picture. Although pressure may be uncomfortable, it is essential to obtain diagnostic quality images.
  • We use the latest 3D mammography technology and software to limit radiation exposure.
  • Your exam will take approximately 10–15 minutes.

To learn more about 3D mammography, please check out

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Radiology Central Scheduling

  • Phone: (310) 301-6800
  • Fax: (310) 794-9035
  • Hours of Operation:
    7:00 am - 7:00 pm, Mon - Fri

Breast Imaging at UCLA provides a full range of high quality and innovative breast imaging studies, treatments and procedures to the greater Los Angeles area. We are currently located in Westwood, Santa Monica, Santa Clarita, Toluca Lake, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes, and Westlake Village. Learn more about all of our locations.