What You Can Expect
During the mammogram
You’ll be given a gown and asked to remove neck jewelry and clothing from the waist up. A cleansing towel will be provided to remove deodorant from your underarms prior to the procedure.
During your mammogram, you stand in front of an X-ray machine designed for 3D mammography. A member of your health care team places one of your breasts on a platform and raises or lowers the platform to match your height. Your head, arms and torso are positioned to allow an unobstructed view of your breast.
Your breast is gradually pressed against the platform by a clear plastic plate. Pressure is applied for a few seconds to spread out the breast tissue. The pressure isn’t harmful, but you may find it uncomfortable. If you have too much discomfort, tell the technologist
Next, the 3D mammogram machine will move above you from one side to the other as it collects images. You may be asked to stand still and hold your breath for a few seconds to minimize movement to decrease blurring while the camera takes images.
After the mammogram
The images collected during a 3D mammogram are synthesized by a computer to form a 3D picture of your breast. The images can be analyzed as a whole or examined in small fractions for greater detail. A doctor who specializes in interpreting mammograms (radiologist) examines the images to look for abnormalities that may be breast cancer. If the radiologist sees any areas of concern, he or she will use your standard mammogram and any older mammogram images to determine whether additional images or testing is needed.
Getting your results
The results are compiled in a report and provided to both you and your provider in your electronic health record. You can access your mammography images and results by selecting the Radiology Results tab in your Patient Online Services account.