Everything you need to know about mammography
Mammography is the most important breast imaging screening method, for women over 40 years old. If after the investigation is performed, there are certain suspicions, further investigations, such as breast ultrasound or breast MRI can be performed.
After the appointment sheet is drawn up, you will be invited to take a seat in the waiting room and you will be called by the radiology nurse in order to undergo the investigation.
The mammography takes about 20 minutes, and the discomfort of the patient is minimal, in most of the cases. It is mandatory to expose both breasts, each of them in two incidents. The technician will position the breast on the platform of the device and will easily compress the breast with a special scraper (made of transparent Plexiglas), in order to reduce breast thickness for a better visualization of the anatomical structures. This compression will take a few seconds and may create a slight feeling of breast pressure which disappears when the breast is decompressed. If you underwent other mammography examinations in the past, you should bring the results with you in order to get a compared result.
The mammography must be performed in the first term of the menstrual cycle, being most indicated between the 7th -14th day of the cycle, when the breast is less dense.
It is contraindicated during the pregnancy.
Some women are concerned about the radiation exposure during the mammography procedure, but the irradiation is minimal with the modern device (is lower than the cosmic irradiation that an intercontinental flight passenger or a ski runner at over 3000m height are exposed to).
The digital mammography is the most efficient, because it allows the observation of several structural details in the dense breast and involves a lower irradiation and compression than in case of the standard mammography.