A mammogram is a specialized medical imaging test that helps in determining breast cancer early. Early screening along with regular screening is the key.

How to prepare for your mammogram procedure-

  • One needs to undress above the waist to get a mammogram done. The diagnosis or the facility in charge will give you a wrap to wear.
  •  A technologist will position your breasts for the mammogram test. There will be no one else except you and a technologist while the rest is being performed. Feel comfortable.
  • The mammogram can take around 20 minutes.
  • To produce a high-quality picture, the breast is supposed to be flattened. To do this the technologist places the breast on a machine plate.  The plastic plate is usually lowered, and your breast is compressed for a few seconds while the technologist produces some pictures.
  • Some discomfort is expected when breasts are compressed and for some women, this can be painful. Let the technologist know then and there if it hurts.
  • Usually, two pictures of each breast are taken but women with breast implants or large implants may need more pictures.

 What can you expect from a diagnostic mammogram –

  • If a woman has some breast symptoms of a change in screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram is often done.
  • During a diagnostic mammogram, more pictures are produced with the focus on the area/breast that looks different on the screening mammogram.
  • Special images known as spot views or magnificent views are used.
  • The images are checked by a radiologist during a diagnostic mammogram to know if there is a need for more pictures to look more closely at any area of concern.

 How is the procedure performed ?
 A mammogram for women is performed by a specially qualified radiologist/ technologist. He/She will position your breast in the mammography unit.

Why breast compression is necessary-

  • To even out the thickness so that all the tissue can be visualized.
  • To spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities present will be less likely hidden.
  • For reducing the x-ray scatter to increase the sharpness of the picture produced.
  • In order to hold the breast so that it minimizes the blurring of the images caused by motion.

How does the procedure work?

If you know, X-rays are a form of radiation just like light or radio waves. X-rays without any hassle pass through objects in the human body. Different parts of the human body absorb x-rays in varying degrees. The dense bones don’t absorb much radiation and that is the reason why bones appear white on the x-ray. You will notice that most of the x-ray images are electronically stored and digital files nowadays.

If you are wondering how to receive the results after a mammogram test. A radiologist or a doctor trained will supervise as well as interpret the radiology examination and analyze the images that are produced. The radiologist usually sends a signed report.