How to Prepare for a Mammogram

A mammogram is an indispensable tool for diagnosing the health of the breasts and guiding the subsequent treatment that might be needed for your health. Below, we cover how to prepare for a mammogram.

However, like most serious medical procedures, mammograms take a bit of preparation to fully maximize the benefits that one might receive from the operation. Knowing the preparatory steps to take is essential before you walk in for a breast cancer screening.

How to Prepare for a Mammogram

If you have a mammogram scheduled, then take a look at this overview that describes the steps you can take to be more prepared for your procedure.

What Occurs During a Mammogram?

Breast cancer is detected via a mammography, which is an X-ray test. The two forms of mammograms are a screening mammography and a diagnostic mammography. The following are the ways in which these two procedures vary from one another:

  • Screening mammography: A kind of mammography used to find anomalies in the breast that could indicate the onset of cancer. By stopping cancer from developing, early detection may be able to save lives.
  • Diagnostic mammography: A diagnostic mammography is performed to examine any suspicious breast lumps. When a patient already has concerns about the way their breasts feel or appear, this procedure is performed most frequently.

Preparing for Your Mammogram

There are many different steps that you can take in order to make your procedure run in a smoother fashion. Some of the following tips can ensure that you receive the best treatment available:

  • Try to go to a facility that performs frequent mammograms. In addition, if you have multiple mammograms scheduled, you should try to go to the same facility for all of your procedures.
  • Try to bring any literature or images from past mammograms you may have received to your procedure. You may have to do some digging for literature from other clinics for past results.
  • Try to schedule your procedure for a time when your breasts won’t be swollen or tender. This can increase your overall comfort during your procedure. Avoid receiving treatment the week before your period.
  • Don’t apply deodorant or any other substances to your armpits or other parts of your body prior to your procedure day. This is because many of these substances will create marks and spots in the X-ray images, compromising your results.
  • You may find it easier to wear loose-fitting clothing, such as dresses or skirts, on the day of your procedure.
  • Make sure to discuss any recent changes or problems with your health, or just the general health of your breasts as you perceive it, as you go in for treatment.

Discussing the Health of Your Breasts

Of course, you are the expert of your personal state of health. Make sure to write down any feelings or sensations regarding the health of your breasts the day of in order to give your imagist the most accurate read possible on the contemporary state of your breasts. Filling them in on the following information should be considered:

  • If you have breast implants
  • Any breast changes or problems you’ve had
  • If you have any trouble standing or holding still, if you use a walker
  • If you’re breastfeeding, or you suspect that you might be pregnant
  • If you start feeling lightheaded or dizzy during the mammogram

What To Expect During a Mammogram

There is a certain kind of protocol to expect when you go in for breast imaging services. Some of the following steps are to be expected:

  • You will have to undress above the waist to receive a mammogram
  • You and the technologist will be the only ones present during the mammogram. Your breast will need to be flattened or compressed onto a plastic plate in order to receive a clear picture.
  • If you’re getting a 3D mammogram, the procedure is slightly different. Discuss with your technologist whether this type of procedure would be preferable for your situation.
  • All in all, the whole procedure takes about 20 minutes.
  • You may feel some small amount of discomfort when your breasts are compressed. Tell your operator if you feel any significant amount of pain.
  • You usually will end up with two views of each of your breasts.

After your test, you’ll discuss your results with your physician. This will give you an indication of whether or not you’ll have to return for further testing.

The Top Imagist in Texas

Pink Door Imaging is the best resource people have for receiving mammogram services in Houston. If you think you might need a diagnostic mammography or other imaging service, contact us today to schedule an appointment and get a jump start on maintaining the health of your breasts.

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