Whether you are having a screening or a diagnostic mammogram, please do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on exam day. For convenience, wear a two-piece outfit.
Once checked in and registered, you will be escorted to a dressing room. Here, you will remove your shirt and bra, before putting on a mammography cape or a front-opening smock. If desired, you may request a robe. A locker is available to secure your personal items.
You will wait in the Women's Lounge, located next to the mammography rooms. There are magazines, patient information and a telephone for patient use.
Your mammography technologist will escort you to the mammography room. Once inside, she will obtain a short medical history from you. Either you or the mammography technologist will place a nipple marker on each breast. She will individually position each breast on a special platform and compress it with a paddle, made of plastic. Breast compression is needed in order to:
- Even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized
- Spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities won't be obscured by overlying breast tissue
- Allow the use of a lower x-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is being imaged
- Hold the breast still in order to eliminate blurring of the image due to motion
- Reduce x-ray scatter to increase the image's sharpness.