A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast and is performed by one of our expert female radiographers. She will help you to be comfortable and relaxed as several x-rays are taken from different sides in order to visualize all of the breast tissue.
It doesn't matter if you have large or small breasts, or if you have breast implants, our radiographers are capable of making the experience as quick and painless as possible.
Preparing For Your Mammogram
When you arrive
Give the receptionist your name and details.
- You will be asked to read and sign a form to agree to have the mammogram.
- You will be requested to show your ID - ie drivers license or passport.
- When your name is called, you will be shown to a private area to undress, and given a handmade gown to put on and make you feel secure.
- You can lock your clothes and personal belongings in the lockers provided.
- You will then meet the radiographer (the woman performing your mammogram). Let her know if you have breast implants, are on hormone replacement therapy or have a heart device such as a pacemaker.
- In preparing for your mammogram its good to think about any family risk factors you might know of and let our Radiologist know.
During the mammogram
Your appointment should only take about 15 minutes. Here’s what you need to know.
- The radiographer will try to make you feel as comfortable as possible. If your last mammogram was painful or you have any questions or concerns please let them know.
- She will ask you to stand close to the machine and hold very still for about a minute while she takes the xrays.
- Normally she will take 2 pictures of each breasts, but if you have large breasts she may need more.
- Your radiographer will quickly check the quality of the pictures, then let you know your mammogram is finished.
- You can now get dressed again in private and relax for a few moments in peace and quiet.
- Then our Radiologist will meet you to discuss your xrays and your breast health.
Tips to make things easier
- Don't use talcum powder, creams or deodorants on the day.
- Wear clothing that is easy to remove, such as a blouse or jersey – you’ll need to undress from the waist up.
- Bring any previous film mammograms that you have had elsewhere (so results can be compared with your new mammogram).
- You may be asked to remove jewelry and taonga so you may prefer not to wear these.
- Don’t forget the little things – like bringing your glasses if you need them to fill in a form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I receive my results immediately?
Yes - you will be taken through your images by a specialist radiologist at your appointment.
Does it hurt?
Our new mammogram machine has been designed for women, by women, and features a number of features to make the experience as painless as possible. Our Radiographers are very experienced at balancing the need to compress the breast to create good images, against the need to keep you as comfortable as possible.
What about the Radiation?
Mammography uses very little radiation and the benefits of detecting breast cancer far outweigh any radiation risk. We go further by using a state of the art mammography machine which use less radiation then older models and is far below the guidelines.
While the risk to a fetus is low If you are pregnant, you must inform us if you may be pregnant before having a mammogram.
What if I have Dense Breasts?
We recognize the breast density is an important masking risk which is why we offer both 3D Mammography and Ultrasound for ladies with dense breasts. We also use Volpara Density AI software to assist our Radiologist in accurately assessing your breast density.
Can I bring a friend or family support person?
Of course you can! They are welcome to sit with you before the appointment and join you while the Radiologist explains your mammogram images afterwards. However as the mammogram procedure itself involves a small amount of radiation we request that they remain in the patient waiting room during the procedure.