If it’s time for your first mammogram, don’t be afraid to make your appointment because everyone is telling you “horror stories” about how painful mammograms are. Or, if you had a mammogram years ago and will not have another one because of a bad experience, don’t despair.
As a mammography technologist, I’m here to tell you that the times have changed for the better! With new technology, mammograms are now more comfortable, more accurate and faster than ever before.
Advancements in Mammography to Benefit You
- Mammograms are now done digitally which means the images can be viewed instantly. There are no more cassettes to change or wait time for film to develop. Getting a mammogram today is much faster with less time compressing the breast. The mammography equipment we use at Bryan has the shortest compression time.
- Mammograms can be done in 3D. This is known as digital Breast Tomosynthesis. It takes pictures from different angles to create digital 3D images of the internal breast. This allows our board certified radiologist to view your breast tissue at a very high level of detail — one-millimeter slices. It is extremely helpful to see through breast tissue, and especially beneficial for women with dense breast tissue.
- A computer-aided diagnosis, called CAD, reads the mammogram in addition to a radiologist. This improves early detection of breast abnormalities.
Your Comfort is Important to Us
We use new curve paddles that conform to a woman’s natural contours of the breast. This provides greater comfort while still having even compression across the entire breast. Many of our patients tell us the new paddles make their mammogram more comfortable.
We understand compression may be uncomfortable, and we’re sympathetic because most of us have been there ourselves. That’s why we do all we can to make sure you have the least amount of discomfort. We perform your mammogram as efficiently as possible to ensure a quality image and are happy to also have the curved paddles as a way to increase your comfort.
How to Prepare for Your Mammogram
- Schedule your mammogram at a time of the month when your breasts are not tender. Your breasts tend to be sore a week or two before your period.
- Lower your caffeine intake a few days before your mammogram. Caffeine causes blood vessels to dilate, which can cause the breast to swell and feel painful.
- Dress in a comfortable two-piece outfit. You will be asked to undress from the waist up.
- Don’t use deodorant, talcum powder, ointment or cream on your breasts or underarms. This can interfere with your mammogram results. At Bryan we provide deodorant packets for you after your exam.
- You can take Advil, Tylenol or whatever over-the-counter medication you normally take for pain or discomfort before and after your mammogram exam. This can help relieve any mild aching.
How to get Your Results
Many patients tell us they have anxiety waiting for their results.
Now you have a fast way to receive them. You can sign up for Bryan Health MyChart. This allows you to see your test results from your computer, tablet or phone at the same time your doctor’s office receives them.
Also, we always send a letter in the mail to you with your results. Your doctor will get your results electronically or by fax.
Take Time for Yourself and Your Health
Remember mammography is the best screening tool for breast cancer detection. Make time for yourself and your health and schedule your mammogram. We’ll take good care of you!
Bryan mammography technologist
Vicky Wright is a mammography technologist at Bryan Medical Center. She’s been a radiology technologist for 30 years and a mammography technologist for 12 years.
Get your mammogram — it's a few minutes, for a lifetime
Visit with your doctor about when you should receive a mammogram, and obtain an order for a mammogram from your doctor. To schedule your mammogram, call Bryan Scheduling Center at 402-481-5121, Crete Area Medical Center at 402-826-7980 or Merrick Medical Center at 308-946-5985.
At Bryan, we have over 570 specialty and family practice doctors to care for any need you have. Plus, a staff of highly skilled nurses, therapists and other health experts.