What is SmartCurve?September 11, 2018

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It’s the age-old question: Why can’t a mammogram fit a woman instead of making a woman fit a mammogram? For more than 100 years, women have felt fear and anxiety around getting their annual mammogram.

Oftentimes, this fear causes women to avoid scheduling their appointment, despite recognizing the important role the exam plays in the early detection of breast cancer. In fact, a recent study of 10,000 women revealed that pain is the No. 1 complaint during mammograms, with seven out of 10 women reporting some degree of pain during their mammogram.

This fear and anxiety has created poor breast health habits passed down from generation to generation. Many women don’t schedule their yearly screening because they’ve heard from Mom, Grandma or a close friend that mammograms hurt.

But imagine a mammogram that is built for the shape of a woman, where accuracy, expertise and comfort meet. Enter SmartCurve.

smartcurve paddle

What Is SmartCurve?

Traditionally, the plastic paddle that was lowered onto the breast to compress it was flat and caused the breast to feel “squished.” However, the curved shape of the SmartCurve paddle evenly distributes the pressure for improved comfort.

Unlike other attempts to create a more comfortable mammogram, the SmartCurve system, when used with the technology of the 3D mammogram, is the first and only mammogram that’s clinically proven to be more comfortable and more accurate when compared to a 2D mammogram.

How Does the SmartCurve Technology Work?

For most women, the pain that is experienced during a mammogram is a direct result of the time spent under compression, in addition to the distribution of pressure on the breast. With the new SmartCurve paddle, the previously flat surface is curved to mirror the shape of a woman’s breast.

Not only does this help to reduce pinching, it also allows better distribution of force over the entire breast. A recent clinical study showed that 93 percent of women who received the SmartCurve mammogram reported improved comfort when compared to standard compression.

Is the SmartCurve Mammogram More Accurate?

Currently, there is not enough research to determine if the SmartCurve paddle alone creates a more accurate mammogram.

breast imaging photo

However, when paired with the technology of the 3D mammogram, the most accurate screening tool available today, the SmartCurve mammogram is proven to detect 20 percent to 65 percent more breast cancers compared to a 2D mammogram alone.

Can Every Woman Use SmartCurve?

The SmartCurve paddle includes options to accommodate majority of women and breast sizes. While most women with breast augmentation can use the curved paddled, if the breast tissue is too thin, the tech will use a flat paddle or small breast paddle instead.

How to Prepare for Your SmartCurve Mammogram

When scheduling a mammogram, make sure that your breasts aren’t swollen or tender to ensure accurate pictures.

solis mammography sign in

A good rule of thumb is to never schedule your mammogram the week prior to your period. If this is your first appointment with Solis Mammography, try to bring a list of the places and dates you’ve had a mammogram in the past. If you are an existing patient, your records are on file.

If possible, try to obtain your records from any previous mammograms and bring them to your appointment.

Dressing strategically is also a good idea when getting a mammogram. Skirts and pants are recommended so that you only need to remove your top and bra for the exam. Solis Mammography provides a cape for patients to wear for additional privacy during the exam.

What to Expect During Your SmartCurve Mammogram

A mammogram performed using the SmartCurve system is just like getting a regular 3D exam – but more comfortable.

You will be brought into the exam room by a technologist who will perform your mammogram. Because the curved design of the paddle mirrors the shape of a woman’s breast, you will notice less pinching and more stabilized compression over the entire breast.

During the mammogram, the technologist will view the images of your breasts from a computer workstation to confirm the quality is good to be reviewed.

smartcurve paddle setup

Once the exam is complete, the photos will be given to a radiologist to examine closely. After he or she has thoroughly reviewed your images, you will receive the results within 48 hours by email.

Does the SmartCurve Mammogram Cost More Money?

Because the SmartCurve paddle is placed on the 3D mammography machine, the cost is the same.

Unfortunately, not all private health insurers cover the cost of a 3D mammogram, even though all Medicare plans and most Medicaid plans cover them in full. If you are unsure whether your insurance company covers the mammogram, you may contact them directly.

For patients who don’t have insurance or aren’t eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, and are facing financial hardships, Solis Mammography offers a $99 coupon for mammography screening. To download the coupon directly, click here.

The Evolution of the Revolution

Since 1986, Solis Mammography has been continually changing the conversation around mammography. As an early pioneer and innovator of 3D Mammography, Solis Mammography is constantly at the forefront.

dr. rose reading mammograms

When Dr. Stephen Rose, Director of Clinical Research and Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board for Solis Mammography, saw the need for a more comfortable mammogram, he immediately got to work.

Dr. Rose, who was highly involved in the initial research of 3D Mammography, partnered with Hologic to develop, research and seek FDA approval for a curved paddle that would provide women with a more comfortable mammogram experience.

Where Can I Get a SmartCurve Mammogram?

The SmartCurve mammogram is available at all Solis Mammography centers throughout the United States. Each Solis Mammography location has specialized radiologists with a 100% dedicated focus on mammography, fast results for screening mammograms and highly-trained, patient-focused technologists and mammographers.

With more than 50 centers, Solis Mammography serves patients across North Texas; Houston, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; Columbus, Ohio; Greensboro, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and, through our affiliated brand Washington Radiology, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Visit our website to find the Solis Mammography nearest you.