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What To Expect During Your Mammogram

During most mammograms, two x-rays are taken of each breast, one of the top and side. More x-rays may be needed if you have breast problems or breast implants. You are asked to remove your clothes from the waist up.

At the Miami Valley Hospital Breast Center (MVH), you are given a spa-quality, warmed robe to make your experience more comfortable. The exam takes about 30 minutes.

Prior to your exam:

  • If you have breast implants, you should inform the technologist performing your mammogram. It is important the technologist knows this before your mammogram so that extra x-rays are taken of each breast. Special care will be taken during your x-rays to reduce the risk of your implant breaking. The exam will take a little longer because more x-rays are needed.
  • Tell your technologist about any breast problems or changes before your mammogram is taken.
  • Feel free to tell her if you are nervous, scared or upset about having the test.
  • Even if you are breast feeding you may have a mammogram taken. We would like you to express as much milk as possible from your breast just before the mammogram.
  • The technologist may ask you questions about your medical history, such as, if you take hormone medicines or have any family members with breast cancer.

During your exam:

  • You sit or stand against the mammogram machine. A registered technologist does the test and places one of your breasts on the x-ray plate for each picture. She moves your breast to the best position.
  • For a few seconds, your breast is gently squeezed between two plastic plates. This spreads your breast out so the best x-ray can be taken. Your breasts are flattened only long enough to take the x-ray. A flattened breast makes it easier for the doctor to see any problems. You may feel some discomfort during your exam.
  • X-rays are taken the same way on the other breast.

Prior to a mammogram, do not:

  • Wear deodorant, powder, lotion or perfume on your breasts or under your arms
  • Wear jewelry around your neck

Learn more about MVH Breast Center Services and Procedures.