What is a Mammogram?
A Mammogram is a low dose x-ray examination of the breasts and an important tool for the detection of breast pathology. The examination is performed by a Radiographer with specialised skills using specially designed equipment. Our equipment is the latest 3D digital technology ensuring the best possible result with the least discomfort to the patient and minimal radiation dose.
There are many indications for mammography and your doctor will have explained why this examination will be of benefit. It is important to bring any previous mammograms and / or breast ultrasounds with you. This previous studies are highly valuable to the radiologist for reporting your examination.
Preparing for your Mammogram?
You will need to make an appointment for the examination. If you experience tenderness in the breasts before your menstrual period, do not schedule the exam for this time. The best time is one week following your menstrual period, unless the examination is urgent.
If you have breast implants, please advise staff at the time of your booking, as you may need to be allocated a longer appointment.
It is recommended that you do not wear any talcum powder, cream or deodorant under your arms or around the breast area on the day of your examination.
You will be asked to remove all jewellery and clothing from waist up. You may find it more comfortable to wear a two-piece outfit to your appointment. You will then be given a loose fitting gown to wear that opens at the front.
What happens during the Mammogram?
During the Mammogram, the breast is first placed on a special platform and compressed with a “paddle” like instrument. Compression of the breast is essential to ensure no movement and accurate imaging. You may experience some discomfort during the compression, but this only lasts for a short while. You will be asked to change positions slightly between images.
Once the examination is complete, the Radiologist will examine the images to determine if any more are needed. The radiologist may need to examine the patient to compare the films with any tenderness or lumps and may ask for further films. This is not uncommon and should not cause alarm.
Sometimes the Radiologist may request an ultrasound examination to clarify a feature on the mammogram or where the mammogram does not show any signs of a lump despite a lump being felt. The radiologist may decide to do this at the time of your visit. If doubt persists, biopsy may be required.
How often is Mammography necessary?
We recommend mammography at two-year intervals for women aged over 40 years, Woman who are at a higher risk than average, should consult their doctor about whether to have mammograms before 40 years and how often to have them.