Going through something the first time is usually when it cause the most concern, worry and anxiousness, particularly as it applies to breast cancer screening. Here is some information we would like to provide to hopefully put women who are having their very first mammogram at ease.
How do you prepare for a screening mammogram?
Here are a couple of things that we recommend you can do ahead of time to make sure your mammogram at Capitol Imaging Services goes smoothly:
- If it is common for your breasts to become sore or tender around your menstrual cycle, you might want to avoid scheduling a mammogram during that time frame.
- Many women pack a bag with any deodorant, lotion or other powders you usually wear, as we inform you not to wear any of these things during a mammogram.
- Ask us questions. When you schedule your exam with us, feel free to ask whatever is weighing on your mind so that you know what to expect. Know before you go! Knowing what to expect helps alleviate some, if not all, of your worries.
What happens when I go to my appointment?
You don’t need to have nerves of steel to make it through your mammogram! Calm your nerves by knowing what to expect. Our technologists understand your anxiety and they are there to help ease you into your first screening.
- When you get to our center, you will go through our registration and check-in process.
- You will need to remove your top. You will be given a gown and asked to change into it.
- Once you are called back into the room, the mammography technologist will ask you simple questions about yourself.
- This is a good time to mention if you have any concerning lumps or if you have had surgery or breast implants.
- The technologist will have you stand in front of the machine and adjust it to your height. You’ll be asked to remove one of your breasts from your gown at a time.
- You will be directed to lean in towards the “shelf” on the machine, so our technologist can place your breast in the right place.
- The technologist will gently place a “plate,” made of light plastic on top of your breast. You will be asked to hold your breath while the machine compresses your breast for only a few seconds. Once the picture is done, the compression releases. NOTE: This is the aspect of a mammogram that many women consider to be uncomfortable. Please inform the technologist if the discomfort is too much. She will make adjustments in order to make the process as comfortable as possible.
- The technologist will take four images of your breasts, which means four different moments of being adjusted, squeezed and then released, unless you are getting 3D mammography. A 3D mammogram will compress each breast once and take several images as the machine moves over your breast in an arch to acquire extra images that provide the three-dimensional views.
- Once you return to the waiting room, don’t change back into your top. After reviewing the images, the technologist may call you back for additional pictures.
- Once you’re done, the technologist will tell you that you are free to change and leave.
The results will then be sent to your primary provider for review, and they will contact you directly with your results. All we need is about 20 minutes from the time you walk in our front door until the time you leave.
Capitol Imaging Services performs screening and diagnostic mammography at our affiliate, Diagnostic Imaging Services (DIS), offering locations in Covington, Marrero, Metairie and Slidell, LA. Should you decide a screening mammogram is right for you, please call DIS directly at 504-883-5999 or 985-641-2390 to arrange a visit.
Or, click here to send us a secure email requesting assistance in arranging a visit.
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