What is mammography?

Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system for an examination of your breasts. This exam is called a mammogram and is used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women with no symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in those that are experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain, or nipple discharge.

What is 3D mammography?

3D Mammography is a mammogram that consists of multiple breast images taken in seconds to produce a 3D image. The radiologist looks through the breast tissue one thin layer at a time, so fine details are more visible. Patients have the option to choose 2D versus 3D mammography.

Why choose 3D mammography?

  • 41% increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers
  • 29% increase in the detection of all breast cancers
  • 15% decrease in women recalled for additional imaging after screening

Source: genius3D mammography Exam(Hologic)

What are the benefits of digital vs. traditional film mammography?

  1. Shorter exam time – images appear within seconds on the computer screen, so no waiting for films to develop.
  2. Radiologists can manipulate the images on their workstation, sometimes eliminating the need to call the patient back for additional images.
  3. Decreased radiation dose.
  4. Newest technology.
  5. Computer aided detection built in – shown in tests to be more accurate than stand-alone computer aided detection systems. This helps to better detect breast cancer.
  6. Outstanding clarity and increased contrast.
  7. Improved image storage – no films be lost; images are stored electronically.
  8. The Hologic Selenia machine at Appomattox Imaging Center utilizes a flexible compression paddle designed to tilt with the shape of the breast, providing uniform compression.
  9. The Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, showed that women in the following categories benefit greater from digital mammography than traditional film mammography:
    1. Under age 50
    2. Extremely dense breast tissue (regardless of age)
    3. Premenopausal or perimenopausal women (last menstrual period within the past 11 months)

How long does a mammogram take?

Most exams take between 10 and 20 minutes.

Are there any restrictions to prevent me from having a mammogram?

If you are or may be pregnant, the procedure may be rescheduled.

Is there any preparation before the study?

There is minimal preparation before having your mammogram.

  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing with no metal.
  • Remove any jewelry or other objects that may interfere with the study.
  • Patients should not wear any deodorant, powder, or perfume the day of the exam.
  • Any prior imaging records of the breasts (Mammograms, Ultrasound, etc.) are required before interpretation by the radiologist.

What can I expect?

During Mammography, a specially qualified radiologic technologist will position your breast in the mammography unit. Your breast will be placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle (made of clear Plexiglas or other plastic).You will feel pressure on the breast as it is squeezed by the compression paddle. Some women with sensitive breasts may experience discomfort. If this is the case, let your technologist know. Breast Compression is necessary in order to:

  • Even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized.
  • Spread out tissue so that small abnormalities won’t be obscured by the overlying tissue.
  • Allows the use of lower x-ray dose due to a thinner amount of tissue being imaged.
  • Holds the breast still in order to eliminate blurring of the image caused by motion.
  • Reduces x-ray scatter to increase sharpness of picture