What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray with high-contrast, high-resolution film for examination of the breasts to assist in the detection of breast diseases.
There are (2) types of mammogram: screening and diagnostic.
What is a screening mammogram?
A screening mammogram is usually for a patient with no history of breast problems or symptoms and is a central part in early detection of breast cancers. It is performed by our highly skilled mammography technologists and interpreted by two radiologists specializing in mammography. A written report with the results of this exam will be delivered to you after 72 hours from your appointment.
What is a diagnostic mammogram?
A diagnostic mammogram is usually for a patient who finds a lump, has a breast problem, breast cancer or mastectomy.
The Mammogram Procedure
The technologist performing your examination will take you to one of the private examination rooms to review your mammography history form. Although the mammogram equipment may look imposing, a mammography procedure is relatively simple to perform, and all of our technologists are specially trained to position you and the machine for the highest quality images possible. The mammography equipment may be tilted to improve the maximum exposure of your breast during image acquisition. The actual time required to obtain the necessary pictures of your breast is about ten minutes. The breast is first placed on a special cassette and compressed with a paddle.
The technologist will take two images of each of your breasts, which will require the breast to be compressed for a few seconds during the actual X-ray portion of the exam. Although uncomfortable, the compression will not harm your breast in any way, and is necessary for optimal image acquisition. Be sure to inform the technologist if you experience pain during compression.
It is necessary that you remain in the waiting room until the technologist reviews your films to ensure that additional images of your breast are not needed. After this review, the technologist will take you back to the changing area where you will change back into your clothes, and leave our facility.
Interpreting Your Results
After your screening mammogram is completed and you have left our facility, two radiologists specializing in mammography will interpret your films. The radiologists will study, or “read” your films and identify any abnormalities or “findings”. If additional tests are necessary, you will be notified to return for a diagnostic mammogram and/or a breast ultrasound exam. A written report with the results of this exam will be delivered for you after 72 hours from your appointment.
Breast Ultrasound Exam
What is a breast ultrasound?
A breast ultrasound is another imaging technique to look at the breast. A gel is put on the breast to make it slippery and a small transducer is slid along the skin sending waves through it.
What is a fine needle aspiration biopsy?
A fine needle aspiration biopsy is a removal of a cell sample from a lump or area of concern using image guidance. These cell samples are reviewed by the pathologist and the patient is given a preliminary diagnosis after their exam.
What is a core biopsy?
A core biopsy is a removal of a tissue sample from a lump or area of concern using image guidance. This tissue sample is sent to the pathologist for analysis.
What is a cyst aspiration?
A cyst aspiration is the removal of fluid from a sac that grows in the midst of the breast tissue by attaching a needle to a syringe that is inserted through the breast.
What is a galactogram?
A galactogram is a procedure where a catheter is used to cannulate the milk duct. The radiologist injects a radio opaque dye into the duct to highlight any abnormalities.
Needle Localization Exam
What is a needle localization exam?
A needle localization is a procedure used to guide a surgical breast biopsy. A thin wire is used to show the lesion to the surgeon. It is placed in the breast under X-ray or ultrasound guidance. The wire is left in the breast when the patient goes to the OR.