The Carson Tahoe Breast Center is officially open.
The new center has been taking patients since July 27, but held a grand opening Thursday to introduce it to the public.
The facility now offers 3D mammography, breast MRI, ultrasound, and biopsy, as well as dexa bone density testing for osteoporosis and osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis.
The new center, located inside Carson Tahoe Sierra Surgery, is equipped with two Hologic 2D and 3D mammography machines, which can also be used for biopsies; two ultrasound rooms; one dexa bone density testing machine; two radiologist reading rooms; and consultation and dressing rooms.
A third room is available for an additional mammography machine when needed.
“Our schedule’s been full. We’re booking out a couple weeks,” said Jeanette Green, lead mammography tech.
The 3D mammography is covered by Medicaid and Medicare, but not yet by most private insurance although the machine maker is working with the industry, said Green.
The center offers a 30 percent discount on 3D mammography so patients with private insurance can opt to have a 3D scan for $30 and a radiologist reading of it for $75.
Women with dense breast tissue are encouraged to have 3D mammograms, but Green said they are recommended for anyone.
“We can find things at the size of a millimeter. It’s early detection, which is why we recommend a yearly mammogram,” said Green.
The 3D machines are high-tech in other ways: Green uses her fingerprint to log on and the console she works at automatically adjusts to her height.
The techs received five full days of training on the machines and three full days of training on the biopsy module.
Green said initially each mammogram is taking 30 minutes and the staff should reduce that to 15 minutes soon with more experience.
The Carson Tahoe Breast Center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 1400 Medical Parkway.