You should arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time to complete all necessary paperwork.
- Wear comfortable clothing, including a two piece garment. Stop drinking caffeinated drinks several days before your mammogram appointment. Do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your period if your breasts are usually tender during this time. If you take hormones (estrogen and progesterone), ask your doctor about the best time to schedule a mammogram.
- Do not wear deodorant, powder, perfume or lotion on the day of your mammogram. These substances may obsure the images. Remove all jewellery from your neck and chest area.
- Bring any previous x-ray films, mammograms and breast ultrasounds with you to the appointment in case they are needed for comparison.
What does the procedure involve?
You'll be asked to undress from the waist up and will be given a gown to wear. During mammography your breast is compressed between 2 plates attached to the mammogram machine. Compression is needed to keep your breast from moving, and to make it thinner. These measures reduce the x-ray exposure, reduce blurring, and make the image sharper. The x-ray pictures are taken from several angles. The process will be repeated for the other breast.
You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.