Mammography and Breast Ultrasound

Mammograms and Breast Ultrasound

All patients attending the department for a Mammogram and/or Breast Ultrasound should have received a copy of the “Having a Mammogram” or “Breast Ultrasound” information leaflet with their appointment letter. This can also be found at the bottom of the page or in the PILS link from the front page. This is a generic leaflet. For more specialised Breast examinations, there are more detailed leaflets. These can be found in the PILS link from the front page.

Where is the Mammography department?

The Mammography Department is part of the Radiology Department.  It is also known as X-Ray or Imaging department. It is located on Level B near the main entrance.

Some Ultrasound Scans are performed in Castle Out Patients Department on Level H.

What is a Mammogram?

A mammogram is an x-ray examination to show the breast tissue. It is carried out using one of our two digital mammography units. The x-ray image is produced using a low dose of ionising radiation.

The images are stored in a digital form and viewed on a computer screen.

A mammogram remains one of the most efficient methods of detecting early breast cancer.

How can a Mammogram help?

It will help the doctors make a diagnosis for you.

What are the risks of having a Mammogram?

There are some small risks involved with having x-rays taken as ionising radiation is used to produce an image. The amount of radiation used is equal to that which we all normally receive from the environment over a short period of time.

What will happen if I choose not to have a Mammogram?

If you choose not to have a mammogram, your diagnosis may be delayed.

You may be offered a different examination such as a Breast Ultrasound.

What alternatives are available?

If you are under 40, you may be offered Breast Ultrasound as an initial examination but you may also need a mammogram should the breast clinician/radiologist think it is necessary.

How should I prepare for a Mammogram/Breast Ultrasound?

Wear a top with skirt/trousers.

Don’t apply talcum powder, body lotion, antiperspirant or calamine lotion to the breasts or underarms.

Please tell the radiographer if you have breast implants.

Asking for your consent

We want to involve you in all the decisions about your care and treatment. If you decide to go ahead with the mammogram, by law we must ask you to consent to the test. This confirms that you agree to have the procedure and understand what it involves. The doctor that referred you for the mammogram will explain the risks, benefits and any alternative tests. If you are unsure about any aspect of your mammogram, please do not hesitate to speak to either your doctor, or the radiographer who will carry out the mammogram.

What happens during a Mammogram?

Once you are in the privacy of the mammogram room, the radiographer will explain the procedure to you and obtain verbal consent from you before starting the examination.

You will be asked to undress to the waist and stand in front of the x-ray machine.

The radiographer will place each breast in turn onto the mammogram unit. As each image is taken, your breast will be compressed between the x-ray plates for a few seconds.

Two or more images of each breast are taken from different angles

Who will perform the Mammogram?

Female radiographers, who have specialist training, will take the images.

How will I get my results?

If you are attending a routine follow up appointment, your results will be sent to your home address, within 3 weeks.

If you are attending a “One-Stop” Breast Clinic, your consultant will usually tell you the results at that appointment.

If you are a GP referred patient, the results will be sent the GP surgery for you to collect in 2 weeks.

What happens during a Breast Ultrasound?

When you are in the privacy of the ultrasound/mammogram room, the radiographer or doctor will explain the procedure to you. You will be asked if you agree to have the scan (obtain your verbal consent) before you undress to the waist and lie on the examination couch.

A small amount of gel is put on the surface of your breast and the smooth ultrasound probe moved over the skin surface. Images of your breast tissue will be seen on a monitor screen. When the scan is completed you will be able to wipe your breast dry and dress.

 

Who will perform the Breast Ultrasound?

A specially trained Radiology Consultant or Breast Clinician will perform your ultrasound scan.

How will I get my results?

If you are attending a routine follow up appointment, your results will be sent to your home address, within 3 weeks.

If you are attending a “One-Stop” Breast Clinic, your consultant will usually tell you the results at that appointment.

Contact details

For appointment enquiries please contact:

01483 571122 ext. 2050 or 01483 464150

Between 09:00 – 16:30

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