Mammography

Procedure

 

Digital evaluation

Digital evaluation

Bildgebung Mammography

Mammography

The term mammogram is used to refer to an image of the mammary gland made with a special x-ray machine. This generates “soft” radiation in order to distinguish fine differences in tissue concentration and thus makes it possible to see the slightest of alterations to the tissue of the mammary gland. The mammography is currently the only acknowledged procedure for the recognition of malignant changes and their pre-stages.

A compression apparatus is used to minimize blurring due to movement and the patient’s exposure to radiation.

Our latest generation apparatus is capable of producing 3-D images in addition to the standard recordings. Here – in a similar way to computed tomography (CT) – several images are taken of different layers, together generating a data set. In this way it is possible to recognise changes that may be covered by neighbouring tissues and therefore difficult to view in the traditional mammography.

Preparation

 

Timing of the examination

A mammography should be carried out between the first and tenth day of the menstrual cycle. Breast tissues are less sensitive to pressure during this period and it is also possible to exclude the possibility of pregnancy.

Preparations at home

Please do not use any creams and lotions in the breast region on the day of the examination.

Please bring with you:

  • A towel
  • Existing examination results, where relevant (medical imaging, clinical examinations, operating theatre or discharge reports, lab results)

 

Procedure

 

Prior to the examination you will be questioned about the medical history of your illness to date and your present symptoms. The doctor will also check whether there is a justifiable indication for the examination, i.e. whether the x-ray is medically useful and necessary. Where relevant, the mammography is complemented by an ultrasound examination of the breast.

Before the examination you must remove all moveable metal objects (e.g. jewellery, hair pins and the like) from the area being examined, as these might cover body structures on the image.

During a mammography examination, two images of each breast are made from different directions; these may be supplemented by additional imaging. It is usual for the images to be produced while you adopt a standing position. For each image, the technical assistant will arrange your breast on a special recording system. In order to achieve a good quality image and low exposure to radiation, tolerable pressure will be brought to bear on the breast. This is sometimes registered as unpleasant but it is not painful. Please follow any instructions exactly, as they are very important for the quality of the image.

The examination will take only a few minutes, whereby the actual recording of data occurs within milliseconds.

Usually you will be able to leave our practice immediately after the examination.

A detailed report with the results of the examination will be sent to the doctor who referred you to us. This will usually reach your doctor within a week; in case of medical necessity, it may also come at short notice on the same or the following day.