How to prepare for a Mammogram

On the day of the examination, do not wear talcum powder, deodorant, lotion or perfume under your arms or on your breasts. These substances can cause artifacts on your mammogram making the images harder to interpret. Deodorant wipes will be available to you after the exam. Wear two piece clothing so that you only have to remove your top and bra for the examination. Please bring any pertinent history to your appointment: prior surgeries, hormone use, family history or personal history of breast cancer. Please bring a disc or films from any prior mammograms that were performed at other facilities. If you would like ESH to request these on your behalf, please complete and provide us with a medical release.

What Happens During a Mammogram

Your mammogram will be performed by a mammography certified female technologist. After you check in, you will be escorted to the mammography suite to change from the waist up into a gown that opens in the front. The technologist will apply pressure to your breast to get the best possible exam. This might be uncomfortable but it should not be painful.

What happens After a Mammogram

After you finish your mammogram the images are sent to the radiologist to compare to your prior films. Approximately 10% of women are called back from screening mammograms for additional tests. This is also referred to as a diagnostic mammogram. The percentage is slightly higher for women 40-49 years of age because the chance of a false positive result is higher among younger women and also with women with dense breasts. Most diagnostic mammograms conclude with normal results, but it is necessary in order to complete the mammographic evaluation and make an accurate diagnosis. In some cases, a biopsy or follow up test in 6 months may be advised.