What is a Diagnostic Mammogram and what does it do?
Diagnostic mammography is used to evaluate a patient with abnormal clinical findings—such as a breast lump or lumps—that have been found by the woman or her doctor. Diagnostic mammography may also be done after an abnormal screening mammogram in order to evaluate the area of concern on the screening exam.
Who performs the test?
The examination is performed by a licensed Radiologic Technologist.
Where does it take place?
Jackson Hospital Outpatient Center, Hudnall Building, Room 110, located adjacent to the Hospital
How long does it take?
Average person 15-30 minutes
What you can do to make it a success?
- Please bring physician orders to your appointment.
- Patients who are in a wheelchair, please ensure your wheelchair arms and legs can be removed. If not, be prepared to be moved to a different chair.
- Inform technologist prior to exam if there is a possibility of pregnancy.
What to do before your exam?
On the day of your appointment, do not use deodorant, lotion, cream, or powder on your underarms or breasts, as they could interfere with a clear image. Also, wear clothing that will allow you to undress from the waist up easily.
If you still have a menstrual cycle, please schedule you mammogram for one week after your period ends.
If you have had a mammogram at another facility, have previous mammograms available for the radiologist at your current exam.
You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire concerning breast health history.
What happens during your exam?
Your breast will be placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle (often made of clear Plexiglas or other plastic). The technologist will gradually compress your breast.
Breast compression is necessary 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 are less likely to 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 minimize blurring of the image caused by motion.
- Reduce x-ray scatter to increase sharpness of picture.
- You will be asked to change positions between images. The routine views are a top-to-bottom view and an angled side view. The process will be repeated for the other breast.
- You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. The technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine.
- Ultrasound and/or further examination by mammography may be warranted.
What to do after your exam?
A radiologist will then examine the images and interpret them. He will communicate the results and forward a report to your doctor. The patient will receive notification through a letter from the Mammogram facility. If the previous mammograms are not provided at the current exam, there will be a delay in notifying the ordering physician as well as the patient of the results as we locate and compare previous and current mammograms.
Hospital (main operator): (850) 526-2200
Mammography Department at OP Center: (850) 718-2585 or (850) 718-2595
Fax (OP Center): (850) 718-2573
Radiology Department (at hospital): (850) 718-2580