MAMMOGRAPHY

What is digital mammography?

Digital mammography is a special form of mammography in which solid-state detectors are used. Instead of using x-ray film, the solid-state detectors convert x-rays into electric signals that can be stored on a computer, permitting radiologists to more clearly view the results.

Why is this exam done?

There are several uses for having a mammography test. The exam enables the detection of tumors, as well as all types of breast cancers. This technique can also help detect small abnormal tissue growths in the breasts. Mammograms provide for a reference for future comparison and can evaluate any unusual changes in the breast.

Preparation

  • During the mammogram, you will be given a hospital gown and asked to remove all clothing above the waist.

  • You will also be asked to remove any jewelry you have on.

  • Do not wear deodorant, lotion, cream, body powder, or perfume the day of your test, as these substances may cause a disruption with the x-rays.

  • Have your medicines as usual, no dietary changes are necessary for this exam.

  • You should inform your doctor if there is any possibility you are pregnant.

During the Exam

A technologist will help position your breasts on to the platform of the mammography unit. One by one, a plate will compress against each of your breasts. This is necessary to make sure that all of the tissue is spread out and can easily be visualized. You will be asked to change position between images, and the process will be repeated for the other breast.

Results

A radiologist will interpret your results and send them to your primary care, or referring physician.

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