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We are proud to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services in Pasadena and Glendora, California, and surrounding counties.

Mammogram Exam Performed by Hill Medical

What to expect when I get a mammogram?

You will have your mammogram while standing upright against the mammography unit. The clear plates on the unit which touch your breasts will be warmed for your comfort. The technologist will carefully place one of your breasts among the plates, and compress it gently. Although this may be temporarily uncomfortable, it is necessary in order to produce a good mammogram and accurate diagnosis. Compression during a mammogram is necessary for the following reasons:

  • It reduces the radiation dose by decreasing the thickness of your breast.
  • It prevents motion during exposure.
  • It separates the breast tissue, allowing optimal evaluation of lesions that might be obscured by other tissue.
  • It increases detail by diminishing scatter radiation.
  • It further increases detail by bringing the breast as close as possible to the film.

The compression takes only a few seconds of the examination and the entire procedure for screening mammography takes about 20 minutes. The technologist will ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds while she obtains an image. Our caring technologist will walk you through the procedure. It is important that you communicate your level of comfort or discomfort with the technician. Your temporary discomfort during the mammogram does not in any way damage the breast tissue. If you have sensitive breasts, it may be helpful for you to schedule your future mammograms about a week after your period, when your breasts are the least tender. You may otherwise consider taking an Aleve or Motrin 1 hour prior to your mammogram to lower the level of discomfort during breast compression. The level of radiation is comparable to the amount of radiation your breasts would receive from the natural environment every year, if you were living in a high altitude location such as Denver, Colorado.

Two images will be taken on each breast — one horizontal and one vertical. This procedure produces a black and white image of the breast tissue on a large sheet of film, which is "read" or interpreted by two of our highly trained and experienced radiologist. Radiologists are physicians who specialize in diagnosing diseases by examining images of the inside of the body produced using x-rays, radio waves, magnetic fields and other methods.

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