What To Expect From Your 3D Mammography Appointment

Having an annual breast exam is an important part of taking care of your health. This is why we offer 3D mammography as part of our services at Women’s Healthcare Associates.

If you have an upcoming 3D digital mammography appointment with us, or are interested in making an appointment to have one, here’s a general idea of what to expect from your visit.

Will it be different from a traditional mammogram?

There is very little difference between 3D mammograms and the traditional mammograms you’re likely accustomed to. However, because there will be multiple images taken, it will probably take just a few minutes longer than a traditional mammogram.

You also may notice that the radiologist will take a bit longer to read the image, this is because they will have more details to look at! The traditional mammogram only offered a flat, 2D x-ray image for them to look at while the 3D mammogram is an immersive look at the tissue. Aside from this slight increase in the length of time, the procedure remains the same.

When should I schedule my 3D mammogram?

You should have a mammogram as part of your yearly health checkup if you are age 40 or over. Some higher risk women need screening mammograms sooner than this. Talk to your doctor about scheduling your exam or call the front desk to see about making an appointment. 

How should I prepare for my 3D mammography appointment?

You can expect to prepare for your 3D mammogram in the same way you did for your traditional mammogram. Here are the recommended ways to prepare for your mammogram:

  • The imaging process will require you to have a bare torso. We recommend wearing loose and easy-to-remove clothing
  • Consider leaving your jewelry at home when you have your 3D mammogram. You will need to remove any jewelry or accessories before having the x-rays taken.
  • Inform your physician or attending medical staff if you are or think you may be pregnant, breastfeeding, have breast implants, have any known medical conditions, or if you have any previous breast biopsies.
  • Do not apply any moisturizer, deodorant, perfume, etc, to your upper body before your 3D mammogram. These products can interfere with the imaging.

The 3D mammogram procedure

You can expect the procedure to take place in a private room with a technician. You’ll be asked to remove clothing above your waist, along with any jewelry. This is so that nothing interferes with the imaging process.

You’ll be positioned in front of a 3D mammogram machine and your breasts will be held in place by two compression plates. The compression plates may cause discomfort, but only briefly.

When you are ready for the process to begin, the technician will start the machine. The machine will move over your chest in an arc. As it does this, it will take multiple x-ray images of your breast tissue and chest cavity. Each scanned image will only take a few seconds. 

You can expect this portion of your 3D mammogram procedure to take from 10 to 20 minutes

Getting the results of your 3D mammogram

At the conclusion of the imaging process, all the scans will be made into a composite image for the radiologist to study. The radiologist will inspect the detailed renderings of your breast tissue to discern if there are any masses or signs of calcification, among other potential issues. Once the radiologist has finished this, they will report their findings.

If there are any abnormalities in the breast tissue, you and your physician will be notified. They may also notify you if they find that you have dense breasts. In the event that an abnormality is detected, the radiologist may recommend further imaging procedures to be done in order to determine the nature of the abnormality.

We Care About Your Health At Women’s Healthcare Associates

At Women’s Healthcare Associates we have a goal to provide you with one of the best experiences in women’s care in the greater Amarillo area. Our professional Staff offers personal care that focuses on the health and well-being of our patients as individuals. Our Services include comprehensive healthcare specialized just for women, prenatal and pregnancy care, digital mammography, bone density screening, ultrasound, contraception, menopause and more. For more information about how our comprehensive women’s healthcare can help you, please give us a call at (806) 355-6330.

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Women’s Healthcare Associates

1301 S Coulter St # 300
Amarillo, TX 79106

Phone: (806) 355-6330

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