Mammogram (Mammography or Breast Screening)
What is a Mammogram?
A Mammogram is a diagnostic test used to look for any problems within the breast and surrounding tissues. The test uses low-dose X-Rays to take pictures of both breasts. Ultrasound and other more specialised techniques may supplement the Mammogram if thought neacessary by the Consultant Radiologist (the doctor who will review your Mammogram).
Why should I have a Mammogram?
A Mammogram along with a clinical breast examination (which is carried out by your GP) is the most effective way to detect breast disease (such as breast cancer) in its infancy.
What do I need to do before my Mammogram?
Your appointment letter will tell you the date, time and department to attend for your Mammogram at Nuffield Health. You will be asked a series of questions at the time of booking, particularly about any previous Mammogram examinations. Unless you are told otherwise, no special preparation is needed for your Mammogram. There are, however, a few things you can do to make your appointment run more smoothly:
- We advise that you leave any valuables at home
- If you have any disabilities or special needs please telephone the department, on the number detailed in the appointment letter, so that we can ensure your needs are met and if necessary allow extra time for your appointment
- If you have had a previous Mammogram and have the film/s, please bring them to your appointment
- Please avoid using talcum powder, body cream or powder deodorants on the day of your appointment.
What will happen when I arrive for my Mammogram?
When you arrive at our hospital, a member of staff will greet you and check your personal details, name, date of birth and address. You will be given the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. You will be asked to undress down to the waist, so we advise that you wear separates. We offer private changing facilities for your convenience.
What will happen during the Mammogram?
You will stand in front of the special X-Ray machine and the Mammographer will place your breast between two plastic plates. This may feel uncomfortable or even slightly painful, but it only lasts a few seconds. Two images will be taken of each breast so that it can be seen from different angles.
How long does the Mammogram take?
The whole examination takes about 30 minutes, but the actual Mammogram itself should only take around ten minutes from start to finish.
What happens after the Mammogram?
Two of our Nuffield Health Breast Imaging Consultant Radiologists will independently report on your test and your report will be sent to your GP within two weeks.
Mammograms are highly technical procedures. If any area on the X-Ray image is unclear, you may be required to revisit us for further investigation. This does not necessarily mean there is a problem, so do not worry if this happens to you, it is part of the examination procedure. If the results are normal, this will be the end of the process.
If further investigations are necessary, such as an ultrasound scan or other tests, you will be advised of this in the Radiological report, which is sent to your GP, who will follow this up with you.
You should not have a Mammogram if there is a possibility of pregnancy or if you are breast-feeding. Some ladies have sensitive breasts towards the end of the menstrual cycle and we recommend you avoid having a Mammogram at that time. If you have breast implants, please inform us before your appointment by ringing the number detailed on your appointment letter. We will explain the issues associated with performing Mammograms on breasts with implants. You will be asked to sign a disclaimer form.
Find out more about mammograms at Nuffield Health hospitals by completing the form on the right.