Diagnostic Mammography and Breast Tomosynthesis

A mammogram is a low dose x-ray examination of the breasts. Mammography has been shown to be a sensitive tool in the early detection of breast cancer because it can show small changes in the breast, even before they can be felt by you or your Doctor.

 

Breast tomosynthesis is relatively new technology that adds to the sensitivity of the traditional mammogram by allowing the radiologist to look at the breast in thin 1mm layers to produce a 3D image of the breast.

 

Breast tomosynthesis has been shown to significantly increase the detection of breast cancer, even for women with very dense breasts.

Our modern equipment uses increasingly small x-ray doses to obtain high quality images.

 

 

Having a Mammogram and Tomogram

The examination is performed by a female radiographer who has specialised in mammography. She will explain the procedure to you, and may ask you some questions about your symptoms and past history.

 

It is best to wear a two-piece outfit on the day of your examination and please notify our staff if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have breast implants at the time of making your appointment.

 

During the mammogram, the breast is briefly compressed so that the breast tissue may be clearly visualised by the radiologist. This only takes a few seconds and, whilst some patients find this uncomfortable, it should not be painful. Our radiographers are specially trained to ensure that it is as comfortable as possible.

 

During tomography, the x-ray arm sweeps over the breast taking multiple low dose images in a few seconds.

Most mammogram examinations take 15 minutes to complete.

When the examination is complete, the images will be examined by the radiologist. Sometimes further mammographic images are required or an ultrasound is then performed.

In most cases, you will be told your results on the same day of your appointment and we will send a report to your referring Doctor.

 

Mammograms detect most breast cancers but they do not find all of them. It is therefore important that you continue to examine your breasts each month and have a regular check with your Doctor.