What is a Mammogram?

A mammogram is an imaging scan similar to an X-Ray used to examine breast tissue. A mammogram can identify breast changes that are often difficult to assess on physical examination. Screening mammograms are recommended for all women without any symptoms aged 40 and over to check for breast cancer. Diagnostic mammograms are used if a lump or other sign or symptom has been found to assess for breast cancer. Both mammograms are performed in exactly the same way.


What will happen during my Mammogram?

At UCMI our mammograms are performed using the 3D Hologic Tomosynthesis Mammography System. Both breasts are imaged when you have a mammogram. During this examination each breast is gently compressed between two X-Ray plates. This helps spread the breast tissue out to enable a clearer picture of the breast tissue. A number of images are taken of each breast.

Each image only takes a few seconds and can feel uncomfortable but should not cause any pain.

The scan will be performed by a specially trained Mammography Radiographer. They will position you very carefully before taking the images and you will be asked to remain very still. They will stand behind a screen to operate the machinery while the image is being taken.


Is a Mammogram safe?

A Mammogram uses X-Ray radiation in order to acquire imaging of the breast; this does lead to a very small increase in lifetime cancer risk.

Our staff will take all steps to reduce radiation doses from CT Scanning to lowest possible levels to achieve an image. Our 3D Hologic Tomosynthesis Mammography System also uses the latest technology available to achieve the lowest possible dose while maintaining high quality diagnostic imaging.


How do I prepare for my Mammogram?

There is no specific preparation required for a mammogram.


How long will a Mammogram take?

Mammograms can vary in length from patient to patient. Most Mammograms generally take around 20 minutes.


What happens after a Mammogram?

Your images are examined by a specialist breast radiologist and a report and the images are electronically downloaded to your referring doctor within 48 hours. If the radiologist on duty wants to assess specific areas of your breast they may also recommend an ultrasound of your breast tissue.