A mammogram is a medical imaging exam that uses a low-dose x-ray to obtain images of breast tissue. Mammography is the most effective method of early breast cancer detection.
A mammogram typically takes 20-30 minutes.
The technologist will position one of your breasts between two plates, which will gradually compress for each image. This may cause discomfort, but you should not experience significant pain. The process will be repeated for your other breast. For the best quality images, you will be asked to remain as still as possible during the exam.
Your images will be interpreted by one of our board-certified breast imaging radiologists.
The findings will be sent to your healthcare provider who will then contact you to discuss the results. We will also mail you a letter with your results.
Dr. Sue Crook reviews a digital screening mammogram.
In certain circumstances, you may need further diagnostic evaluation, such as a diagnostic mammogram or an ultrasound. This does not necessarily indicate an abnormality was found or that your mammogram was not properly obtained, but that additional images are needed to ensure all breast tissue is fully evaluated.
Effective August 1, 2014, a new law by the Minnesota State Legislature requires all Minnesota mammography facilities to report breast density to patients with dense breasts. For more information on breast density, download/print the breast density patient brochure (PDF).
If you are anxious or nervous about getting a mammogram, please watch this short video with four tips for a pain free mammogram.