What is a Mammogram?
A Mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Mammograms are typically performed for two reasons. First, women with breast symptoms may have a diagnostic mammogram, and second, women who do not have breast symptoms may have a screening mammogram.
With any X-ray, it is important to inform the radiographer if you are, or you suspect you may be pregnant. All mammograms are performed by female registered Medical Imaging Technologists (Radiographers) who are specially trained in breast imaging.
During your examination you will be standing facing the mammography unit. Your breast will placed between two flat plates and will then be compressed. The compression may be firm and uncomfortable but will not last long, and is necessary for an adequate exam. Typically, two images of each breast will be taken, but additional views may be required.
In addition to mammography, Geraldton Radiology also provides the latest in breast tomo synthesis (or 3D mammography), which acquires images of the breast from different angles to allow for 3D digital reconstruction of the breast. During this phase of the imaging the machine arm will rotate around your breast and take multiple low dose images in a matter of seconds. These images are then used to reconstruct a 3D image of the breast. Tomo synthesis helps give the Radiologist a complete view of the breast which helps increase the accuracy of reporting and can improve the detection rate of some breast cancers.
After your examination or procedure is finished, the images are then assessed by a Specialist Radiologist in Breast Imaging, and these reports will be electronically sent to your doctor with electronic images also being available.
Preparation for your Mammogram
There is no preparation required for a mammogram, however you should not wear powder or deodorant the day of your examination as it may show up as an abnormality on the images. You will be required to undress from the waist up for your mammogram, so it may be more suitable to wear a two piece outfit. Please ensure you bring all past mammograms and breast ultrasounds with you on the day.
Do I need an appointment?
Appointments are required for all mammograms, as well as a request form from your referring physician. Please advise our reception team if you have breast implants so that adequate time can be allocated. If your breasts are more sensitive at certain times of your menstrual cycle, it would be advised to make an appointment at a less sensitive time. Appointments can be made by calling us on 9964 3757 with your request form and our staff will be happy to assist.
Who performs the mammogram?
All Mammogram X-rays are performed by registered Medical Imaging Technologists (Radiographers). A Radiographer is a specialist technologist who is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
Examinations such as X-ray, CT, and MRI are all performed by Radiographers.
At Geraldton Radiology, we often have student radiographers, or registered radiographers who are training in new areas. In the event that a student/trainee performs your examination, they will be supervised either directly or indirectly by a senior Radiographer.