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Reasons doctors refer patients to Florida Hospital for mammograms fall into two general categories:
Studies suggest that exposure to X rays may increase the risk of cancer in some patients. Expose to radiation can cause serious harm to a developing fetus (unborn child). Women who are or suspect that they might be pregnant should inform their doctor and our breast imaging staff.
Your doctor or our staff will provide specific instructions prior to your appointment. Most mammograms don't require any special preparation. For your convenience and to help assure the best outcome, you may be instructed as follows:
Before the test begins, remove any necklaces and clothing from the waist up. You will be given a gown to wear and led to a room with the mammography X ray machine. The test is performed one breast at a time.
A technologist, the majority of who are women, will position your breast in the machine between a platform and a clear, plastic paddle, which the technologist will slowly lower to flatten and compress the breast. This is done to even out the thickness of the breast and hold it in place for a better image.
You will feel pressure on your breast as the compression paddle squeezes it. This may be uncomfortable, even a little painful. Inform the technologist of any pain. If discomfort is significant, she will use less compression.
A typical screening mammogram requires two views of each breast, a top-down view and a side view. Between views, you will be asked to change positions with the help of the technologist. The process is repeated for the other breast.
To prevent blurring the image, you must remain very still while the X rays are taken. You may be asked to hold your breath a few seconds. The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes.
When the technologist is done taking the X rays, she may ask you to wait while she checks the images to make sure they are of sufficient quality for the radiologist to read. If not, an additional scan or two may be needed. If the images are good, you'll be released to carry on with your normal activities.
Once obtained, your mammogram remains an electronic file. Florida Hospital has the most sophisticated network, viewing stations and software for processing, transmitting, reviewing and storing these electronic images.
One of our physicians, specially trained in mammography, will examine and interpret your scan and create a report of his/her findings that will be sent to your doctor. Your doctor will present the results and discuss them with you.