What is a digital mammogram?
Digital mammography is the latest advancement in breast imaging. It uses computers and specially designed digital detectors to produce an image that can be displayed on a high-resolution computer monitor, and transmitted and stored just like computer files.
Digital mammography provides high quality breast images and special tools that allow the radiologist to see more detail than ever before. This advanced imaging technology helps clinicians detect breast cancer at the earliest stage possible. Reports are sent to your primary care or referring physician.
The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women, starting at the age of 40.
What can I expect?
The technologist will position your breast in the unit on a special platform. You will feel pressure as your breast is gradually compressed in order to get the clearest and most detailed image possible. The technologist will walk behind a wall to activate the machine.
While you may experience discomfort during your mammogram, our facility does place a soft, foam pad on the machine to make the procedure more comfortable. This breast cushion is “invisible” to X-rays and does not interfere with the image quality of the mammogram. Please tell the technologist if you experience pain during your mammogram.
How should I prepare?
Please inform your physician and the technologist of any prior surgeries, hormone use, and family or personal history of breast cancer as well as any new findings or problems in your breasts. If possible, try not to schedule your mammogram immediately before or during your period when your breasts are more sensitive.
Avoid eating or drinking caffeine for 48 hours prior to your mammogram, as it may make your breasts more sensitive. On the day of your appointment, do not wear deodorant, lotion, perfume, or powder under your arms. Try to wear a separate top and bottom, since you will need to remove your top for the test. If possible, bring any films from previous mammograms with you, along with your regular doctor’s contact information.
What long will it take?
A screening mammogram should take about 15 to 20 minutes and will include two views of each breast.