The Mammogram is an x-ray examination that takes images of both the breasts.
The equipment used is very specialised and not available in all practices, so you may be referred to a particular location to have your Mammogram.
It is important to bring any previous x-rays and results of Mammograms or ultrasounds of the breast to your examination. The breast will be compressed as much as possible to ensure no movement and accurate imaging. Films are taken in two or three different positions to display ALL parts of the breast.
There may be some discomfort during the compression of the breast, it may even be painful, but this is only for a short time and compressing the breast is VERY IMPORTANT and ESSENTIAL to the success of the examination.
When you arrive for your appointment you will be asked to change into a gown which can be opened at the front for ease of examination. The films are usually taken with the patient standing, resting against the machine.
After the initial series of films are taken, these are viewed by the Radiologist (a doctor who specialises in medical imaging).
The Radiologist may then ask for further films. This is not uncommon and should not alarm you.
Sometimes the Radiologist may request an ultrasound to clarify a feature on the Mammogram or where the Mammogram does not show a “lesion” despite a clinical “lump”.
If you have breast implants please notify the Receptionist and Radiographer (a technologist trained in medical imaging). For women with implants, we usually perform an ultrasound first to assess the state of the implant prior to Mammography. Additional Mammograms are required including “push back view” and as such the appointment may take longer. There is a very low risk of rupture related to the procedure.
If you are having a Screening Examination and you are premenopausal, it may be worthwhile scheduling the Mammogram in the first half of your menstrual cycle when your breasts are less likely to be tender.
Do not wear talcum powder or deodorant on the day of your examination as these show on the x-ray films and may cause confusing shadows.
After Procedure Care
After the necessary films have been taken, you may wait for the films and results or they can be delivered to your doctor.
Some bruising may appear on the breast a few days after a Mammogram, therefore do not be alarmed. Any tenderness experienced after the examination should settle within a few days. It is often advisable to wear a well supporting bra during this time.
If you have any queries regarding this examination, please contact our practice where your appointment has been made.