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Screening Mammography

If there is a possibility of pregnancy please inform the technologist prior to the date of your examination.

A mammogram is an x-ray examination of the breasts, used to detect and diagnose breast diseases. Screening mammograms are performed on women with no breast problems. Although mammography uses radiation, the risk is very small compared to the benefit of finding an early cancer. A mammogram can reveal breast abnormalities before they would be found with clinical breast exams or self-breast exams. If you have current breast concerns please talk to your health care provider so a diagnostic exam can be ordered if necessary.

Preparation

Please notify the Medical Imaging department if you have had other breast procedures performed. It is important to have these images available to interpret your exam, especially if they were performed at another facility.

On the day of your exam please do not wear deodorant, perfume, powders, ointment, or glitter lotion on your chest or underarm area. Many of these products contain materials that create artifacts and interfere with the quality of your exam.

Schedule your appointment at the time of month when your breasts are the least tender. In general this is usually the week following your period.

On the day of your exam

Please arrive approximately 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to allow for parking and registration. Please plan to spend approximately 1-2 hours in our department. If you bring friends or family to the appointment they will be asked to wait in a waiting room during your scan. Children cannot be left unattended during your scan. Please arrange for a caregiver.

Procedure

A specially trained, licensed technologist will ask you to change and review your history for the exam. Once this has been completed the technologist will place you in front of the machine and position you for the mammogram. Your breast will be placed on the machine between two smooth flat plates. The technologist will then apply firm compression to the breast. For some patients the compression may be slightly uncomfortable, but it is necessary to get the highest quality pictures and will only last a few moments. The technologist will then quickly step behind the equipment to take the image. Compression will automatically release as soon as the image has been taken. The technologist will repeat this process on each breast, obtaining the views that are necessary to image all of your breast tissue. Patients with breast implants will have additional pictures in order to better visualize the breast tissue. The technologist will review the images for proper technique and positioning before you leave the department.

CAD

CAD (Computer Aided Detection) is computer software that aids the radiologist in analyzing your images by highlighting areas of interest.

Results

A Radiologist will study your examination and a report will be forwarded to your physician. The radiologist may recommend additional pictures or an ultrasound (exam using sound waves to create an image) following your screening exam. This may not always indicate an abnormality in the breast, however further imaging must be performed to review the area more closely. If additional imaging is required you will be contacted by a Mammography Technologist to set up a “Diagnostic” exam. When you come for these appointments the images are checked with the radiologist before you leave. You will receive a letter from the mammography department within two weeks, stating the results of your examination. If you have not received a letter within two weeks, please call the radiology department or your practitioner.

View more information about your mammogram at southwesthealth.org/digital-mammography.

Date of appointment _______________________________________ Time_____________________

Your procedure will be performed at Southwest Health at 1400 Eastside Road – Platteville, WI 53818. Please use the Main Hospital Entrance and check in at the Registration Desk prior to your scheduled procedure.

If you cannot keep your appointment please contact the radiology department at 608-342-4740 so that me may accommodate another patient.

NOTE: It may take 2-3 days to obtain verification from your insurance company for exams that require prior authorization, such as CT, MRI, Nuclear Stress, Injections, etc.