Dr. Judy Dean and Dr. Winnie Leung stand next to Pueblo Radiology’s digital 3D mammography imaging unit.

Dr. Judy Dean and Dr. Winnie Leung stand next to Pueblo Radiology’s digital 3D mammography imaging unit.

Since installing the only tomosynthesis (3D mammography) imaging unit in the Tri-Counties two years ago, Pueblo Radiology Medical Group recently tested its 4,000th patient using this state-of-the-art technology.

Tomosynthesis—which is a better form of mammography—improves accuracy in detecting breast disease while reducing the number of false positives and follow up examinations. The 3D images, as compared to the 2D images produced by conventional mammography, help radiologists evaluate the overlapping and complex structures of the breast, especially when there is dense breast tissue, according to Dr. Winifred Leung, medical director at Santa Barbara Women’s Imaging.

The other doctors at Santa Barbara Women’s Imaging—an affiliate practice of Pueblo Radiology—using this technology along with Dr. Leung are Dr. Judy C. Dean and Dr. Laurel Hansch.

Large, multicenter trials performed in the United States and internationally have found that tomosynthesis reduces false positives by about 40 percent and increases the cancer detection rate by about 25 percent. Over the past two years, our Santa Barbara office has mirrored these findings.
— Dr. Judy Dean

Tomosynthesis outperforms conventional mammography by allowing radiologists to see “slices” of the breast. In the 2D images produced by conventional mammography, overlapping breast tissue can simulate a mass or breast cancer. Seeing the thinner “slices” produced through tomosynthesis allows radiologists to see the breast more clearly, according to Dr. Leung.

Just as digital mammography replaced film-screen mammography in the early 2000s. I foresee that tomosynthesis will replace digital mammography within the next 10 years.
— Dr. Winifred Leung

Santa Barbara Women’s Imaging’s tomosynthesis unit is one of the few units in the United States with the added “C-view” software enhancement, which reduces the x-ray dose for tomosynthesis to essentially the same level as a conventional 2D mammogram.

“Patient health and care is our priority,” said Dr. Leung. “By reducing the x-ray dose as much as possible and avoiding unnecessary imaging, we can help protect our patients.”

Pueblo Radiology of Santa Barbara is located at 2320 Bath Street, Suite 113. Santa Barbara Women’s imaging—an affiliate practice of Pueblo Radiology—is located at 1525 State Street, Suite 102 in Santa Barbara. To contact Santa Barbara Women’s Imaging, call 805-560-8111.