Your Mammogram Visit

Published On 07/11/2011

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Getting an annual mammogram is important because it can, in some cases, detect breast cancers before you can feel them with your fingers. We will strive to make your experience a positive one by making appointment scheduling as convenient as possible and then providing you with helpful resources and support before, during and after your visit.

On the day of the exam:

  • We suggest that you wear a two-piece outfit to make it easier to undress. You will be given a cape to wear.
  • Please do not use any deodorant, powder, perfume, creams or lotions above the waist because they leave a residue that may be picked up on the X-ray and possibly interfere with the mammogram results.
  • Tell your health care provider and the radiologist if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Avoid scheduling your mammogram procedure during the week prior to your mentrual period to avoid any breast swelling and tenderness you may experience.

How the Test Will Feel

The metal may feel cold. When the breast is compressed, you may have some pain. However, this is necessary in order to obtain good images.

How the Test is Performed

You will be asked to undress from the waist up and will be given a gown to wear. Depending on the type of equipment used, you will sit or stand.

One breast at a time is rested on a flat surface that contains the x-ray plate. A device called a compressor will be pressed firmly against the breast to help flatten out the breast tissue.

The x-ray pictures are taken from several angles. You may be asked to hold your breath as each picture is taken.

Sometimes you will be asked to come back at a later date for more mammogram images. This does not always mean you have breast cancer. Rather, the doctor may simply need to recheck an area that could not be clearly seen on the first test.

Digital mammography is a newer technique that allows the x-ray image of the breast to be viewed and manipulated on a computer screen. It improves accuracy and is now available at all Methodist Diagnostic Centers.

To schedule an appointment at one of our diagnostic or breast centers, call 888.777.5959.