What is Mammography?
Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
Digital mammography, also called full-field digital mammography (FFDM), is a mammography system in which the x-ray film is replaced by solid-state detectors that convert x-rays into electrical signals. These detectors are similiar to those found in digial cameras. The electrical signals are used to produce images of the breast that can be seen on a computer screen or printed on special film similar to conventional mammograms.
Radiologist can view and manipulate images on high-resolution computer monitors., adjust level of brightness, contrast and magnification of specific areas to help detect the smallest of calcifications, masses or changes in the breast.
No waiting for films to be developed. Digital images can be sent to your physician electronically.
Previous mammograms are "digitized" into the system for comparison with current exam.
Digital is more accurate for women with dense breasts and women who are pre-menopausal or perimenopausal.
The integrated "Fast" paddle technology accommodates the natural contour of the breast, tilting or more uniform compression and exposure, and improved patient comfort.
What are some common uses of the procedure?
Mammograms are used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symtoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge.
Screening Mammography - plays a central part in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them.
Diagnostic Mammography - is used to evaluate a patient with abnormal clinical findings - such as a breast lump or lumps - that have been found by the women or her doctor. Diagnostic mammorgraphy may also be done after an abnormal screening mammography in order to evaluate the area of concern on the screening exam.
How should I prepare?
- Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period if your breast are usually tender during this time.
- Do not wear no heavy perfume deodorant , body oil or powder. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots. If you do have deodorant on there are towelettes here you can use.
- Arrive come 10-15 minutes prior to your exam. It is easiest if you wear a two-piece outfit.
- A screening mammogram usually takes 20 minutes and can be scheduled throughout the day. A diagnostic mammogram is scheduled when the radiologist is here.
When you get a mammogram, you stand beside the machine, and a specially trained technologist helps place your breast on a plastic plate. A second piece of plastic is placed on top and for a few seconds, some pressure is applied to flatten the breast and get a good, clear picture. Two pictures usually are taken of each breast. Some women may feel a little discomfort, but this is temporary.
Who interprets the results and how do I get them?
A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed reort to your primary care or referring physician, who will discuss the results with you.
You will also be notified of the results from the hospital, this usually takes a few days.
Hammond-Henry Hospital Imaging Services
600 North College Avenue
Geneseo, IL 61254
Phone: (309) 944-9169