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    Mammography

    Overview
    Procedure
    Results
    Possible Risks
    Limitations
    Where To Seek Treatment

     

    Singapore General Hospital
    Contributed by Singapore General Hospital

    Overview

    This is a specialised procedure to examine the breast using dedicated low dose x-ray equipment. Images of the breast are obtained from various angles and involve firm compression of the breast.

    Procedure

    Preparation

    • It is not necessary to restrict your food or fluid intake;
    • Please refrain from using any powder on your breast or armpit;
    • It will be more convenient and comfortable for you to wear a blouse with a skirt or slacks instead of a dress when you turn up for your mammography;
    • Please do not wear any jewellery on your upper body, especially necklaces.

    On Arrival

    You will be required to change into a hospital gown, and any jewellery on your upper body such as necklaces should be removed. A locker will be provided for your belongings but please keep your valuables at home.

    During the Mammography Examination

    • The examination will be conducted in a special room because your comfort and privacy is of the utmost importance to us.
    • The female radiographer will need to examine your breasts to ascertain the presence of any lumps, if any, detected by your doctor or yourself.
    • We will need to perform 2 basic views for each breast. This means at least 4 films will be taken in order to complete the examination. However, do not be concerned if more or less films/views are taken because of technical or other reasons.
    • You will be asked to stand or sit beside the mammographic unit while the radiographer positions your breast onto a table support of the machine for each view. A special plastic plate will be lowered slowly onto your breast. Its purpose is to hold and compress your breast during the examination.
    • Firm compression of your breast will help us to produce a high quality mammogram with good details as well as reducing radiation dose to your breast at the same time. The feeling of tightness and discomfort will be experienced by you during the compression but this will only last for a few seconds. Try your very best to hold your breath and do not move during the short exposure time.

    We understand that this area of the body is a very personal and sensitive matter to many patients so if you have any apprehension, please feel free to speak to the radiographer attending to you.

    The whole examination will take about 30 minutes but some cases may take longer depending on the individual circumstances. Due to the nature of our work, we may not be able to keep strictly to schedule.

    If you have any questions about the examination, do not hesitate to ask the Radiologist/Radiographer attending to you.

    After The Examination

    Please do not change out of your hospital gown immediately after the examination. It may be necessary to do some additional views after the initial images were processed and reviewed.

    Results of the Examination

    The radiologist will review the images and report the findings to your physician, who will then discuss the results with you on your next appointment.

    Possible Risks

    As with all procedures utilising ionizing radiation, the radiation risks are present. However, the dose is small and the benefits of an accurate diagnosis far outweigh the risks.

    Limitations

    X-ray imaging is not usually indicated for pregnant women.

    Breast implants can also impede accurate mammography readings because both silicone and saline implants are not transparent on x-rays and can block a clear view of the tissues behind them.



    Need indepth information ?

    Access our Conditions & Treatments sections for related topics on Breast Cancer .

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