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What to Expect: Mammogram

Two classifications of mammograms are performed: annual screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms. Annual mammograms are scheduled as screening mammograms and can be performed at any of our imaging locations that provide mammography services. Diagnostic mammograms are ordered if your physician detects an abnormality, if you detect an abnormality or if your screening mammogram suggests there may be an abnormality. Diagnostic mammograms can be scheduled at Centegra Gavers Breast Center, Centegra Hosptial-Woodstock, or Centegra Hospital-McHenry.

Prepare for Your Mammogram

It is best to abstain from caffeine the morning of your exam. You will be asked to not wear deodorant, lotions or powders. These products can show up on the mammogram images and appear as breast abnormalities. Prior to your exam you will change into a gown. The technologist will bring you into the exam room and will review your medical history. The technologist will then position you to allow your breast image to be taken. Centegra’s facilities use special padding to make the compression portion of your exam as comfortable as possible. A minimum of two images will be taken of each breast to ensure all of the breast tissue is included.

Annual Screening Mammogram: If your exam is scheduled as an annual screening, your exam will be reviewed by a radiologist (a doctor who is specially trained to interpret the images). A technical report will be sent to your physician and a letter will be sent to your home or email (depending on your preference). If your prior mammogram was performed outside of Centegra Health System, we ask that you bring a copy of your most recent mammogram to your appointment. If you are unable to do so, we will make every effort to obtain a copy so the radiologist can compare it to your current exam and detect any changes.

Diagnostic Mammogram: If your mammogram is scheduled as a diagnostic mammogram, your exam will be performed and the images will be evaluated by a radiologist while you wait. After reviewing the images the radiologist will speak with you about your results and may recommend further testing or a return to annual screening mammogram. The results of your diagnostic mammogram will also be sent to your physician. Any recommendations for further testing will be discussed with you and your physician.

*When scheduling your test, please mention if you or your physician have felt an abnormality. You may be scheduled for a breast ultrasound as well as your mammogram.