Mammography: What to Expect
Mammography is a type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the diagnosis of breast diseases in women. The American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging both recommend mammography as a means of saving lives. A study in the journal Cancer also found that regular mammography screening can save lives.
Your physician has recommended that you have a screening or diagnostic mammogram. At the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center at Cedars-Sinai we have a team of experienced imaging physicians who are mammography specialists. The purpose of this exam is to evaluate your breast tissue for any abnormalities including cysts, other benign abnormalities or a malignancy.
To schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.
Before Arriving for Your Exam
- You can print and fill out the Breast Imaging Questionnaire, Outside Mammogram Tracking Form and the Patient Advisory for Mammography for Patients with Implants on our Pre-Registration Questionnaire page before arriving to speed the registration process.
- It is suggested that you do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your menstrual cycle (period) as your breasts are usually very sensitive at this time.
- It is important that you do not wear deodorant, perfume or talcum powder on the day of your exam.
- Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
- If you have had a previous mammogram, at a different imaging center, please bring your previous films and reports.
- Although we do not anticipate any delay in your scheduled appointment, we recommend that you bring a book, magazine or music player to help pass the time, if you do have to wait.
- You will change into a patient gown, removing your clothes from the waist up. We have robes available for your comfort while you wait.
During Your Exam
- If you are having a screening mammogram, pictures of each breast will be taken. If you are receiving a diagnostic mammogram, you may have one or both breasts scanned.
- Pictures are taken while applying pressure to your breast. Although the pressure may be uncomfortable, it is essential to obtain quality pictures.
- Your exam will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Upon completion of your exam, you will be free to go home.
After Your Exam
- There are no restrictions placed on you after this procedure. You may eat or drive as normal.
- An imaging physician will review your study and the results will be sent to your doctor with a follow-up letter to you.
- An imaging physician may call you back for additional pictures. This is to ensure that any possible abnormality in your breast can be thoroughly evaluated.
- In conjunction with the additional imaging, an ultrasound may also be used to evaluate an abnormality.
- If the imaging physician determines that you have dense breasts, you will also receive a letter informing you. Click here for information about dense breasts.
- To request copies of your pictures on a PC and MAC compatible CD, or a copy of your report, please call 310-423-8000 and follow the prompts for your selection.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.