Frequently Asked Questions

Mammograms

A mammogram is a special type of X-ray imaging exam used to create detailed images of the breast. Mammography uses low dose X-rays; high contrast, high-resolution film; and an X-ray system designed specifically for imaging the breasts. Mammography plays a major role in early detection of breast cancers, which, in turn, increases the chances of successful treatment and survival.

Mammograms are generally not painful but can be uncomfortable for some patients due to the amount of compression required to place the breasts in the equipment necessary for filming. The quality of your mammogram is greatly dependent on compression of the breast. Compression decreases breast motion that can cause blurry images and flattens the breast so that all of the tissue can be visualized in the image. The total X-ray dose to the breast is also greatly reduced by good breast compression. If you feel discomfort during your exam, please inform your technologist. Discomfort may also depend on what time of the month the exam is being performed since some women experience breast tenderness during menstruation.

Beginning at age 40, women should have a mammogram every year. Patients at high risk of breast cancer, especially those with a strong family history of breast cancer, should consult their doctor about beginning annual mammograms prior to age 40.

You can get an order for the mammogram from your primary care provider or book it yourself at your mammography center. It is important to go to the same center every time, since the old films are available there and direct comparison is essential for accurate diagnosis.

You should first contact your primary care provider, who can provide you with an order for a diagnostic mammogram, or you may call our breast health specialists at 404-778-PINK to discuss your concerns.

Other Procedures

Interventional procedures include cyst aspirations, fine needle aspirations, core biopsies and breast localizations. Local anesthesia is administered to the site to limit the amount of discomfort. Minimal discomfort may be experienced.

Usually the next day, unless you are having an excisional biopsy or surgery.

We ask our patients to refrain from any strenuous exercise and avoid any heavy lifting for approximately 24 hours.

Usually between five and seven working days. These results are sent to your referring physician and are not sent to the Breast Imaging Center.