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Mammogram Prep Info

How do I prepare for a Mammogram?

During a mammogram, a low dose x-ray is directed through your breast while compressed between two plastic plates. Only the breast is exposed to the x-ray.

The images of the mammogram are recorded directly on a highly sensitive digital detector similar to, but much larger than, those found in a digital camera. When images are recorded on digital detectors rather than on old fashioned film, it is called a digital mammogram. With a digital mammogram, the images of your breast are available immediately. There is no film to be developed.

Digital mammograms use less radiation and have a higher cancer detection rate when compared to traditional film mammograms. This is especially true in younger women and in women with denser breast tissue.

Screening Mammograms

This type of mammogram is for women who have no symptoms. A baseline, or starting point for comparison, is performed for women at age 40. Then it is recommended that mammograms be performed every 1 to 2 years after that. If there is a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors, your doctor may recommend a screening mammogram at a younger age.

Diagnostic Mammograms

This type of mammogram is performed when some kind of unusual or abnormal condition has been detected. This could be a lump or unusual breast condition that you may have found during your own breast self-exam, following a routine screening mammogram, as a result of something your doctor detected during your breast examination or as a result of your own breast history. These types of mammograms generally take a little longer than screening mammograms, as they often include additional special angulation or compression views.

What will I do when I arrive?

When scheduling your appointment provide us with your email address and we will send you your personalized forms with your information already filled in. If your email address is not provided, you can still save time by downloading the Registration forms and completing them prior to arriving at the office.
Present your prescription, insurance card and completed forms at the front desk. If any additional forms are required, they will be given to you at this time.

Be sure to inform the receptionist and technologist if you:

  • Are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.
  • Have breast implants.
  • Have any breast studies from another facility. We like to compare the new mammogram with any previous studies to assist in the diagnostic process.

Plan to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.

What happens during a Mammogram?

After changing into a gown, you will stand in front of a special x-ray machine. The technologist will place your breasts, one at a time, between two plates. The plates will move to compress and flatten your breast, giving a very uniform breast thickness so that a clear picture of your breast tissue can be taken. You will feel a little pressure, but it is only for a few seconds. The flatter your breast tissue, the better the picture.

For screening mammograms, multiple images are taken of each breast from above and from different angles.
A mammography takes about 15 minutes.

When can I expect the results?

One of our board certified radiologist specializing in breast imaging interprets your mammogram, compares them to any previous studies and dictates a report which is transcribed, proofread and signed.

The report is then faxed and mailed to your referring doctor within one or two days. Your doctor will read the report and review the findings with you.

You will also receive an email or a letter directly from Stockdale Radiology within one week of the mammogram. If our radiologist feels you need additional views, we will contact you to schedule an appointment and we will also notify your doctor.

All of your signed reports and images are available to your referring doctor on our physician web portal.