Mammography is an x-ray of breast tissue. The image produced is called a mammogram. A mammogram can help detect problems in your breasts, such as cysts or cancer. Breast implants can interfere with taking and reading mammograms, so special techniques must be used to get the best image.
Before Your Test
- Tell your healthcare provider that you have breast implants when you schedule your exam.
- Schedule the test for 1 week after your period, when your breasts are less tender.
- Make sure the clinic gets your last mammogram if it was done somewhere else. This lets the doctor compare the two.
- On the morning of your test, don't use deodorant, powder, or perfume.
- Wear a top you can remove easily.
Arriving for Your Exam
Remind your technologist that you have breast implants. Also mention if you are, or think you might be, pregnant, have had a breast biopsy or surgery, are breastfeeding, or have moles on or near your breasts.
During Your Test
- You will need to undress from the waist up.
- The technologist will position your breast to get the best results. The technologist will take your implants into account when positioning your breasts. Implants may be moved aside. This will help ensure that as much breast tissue as possible can be seen on the mammogram.
- Each of your breasts will be compressed. This helps create the most complete x-ray image. The technologist will take care to avoid breaking the implant.
After Your Test
- The technologist may have you wait a few minutes to be sure the images are readable.
- More x-rays are sometimes needed. You will be called to schedule them if they are necessary.
- You should be notified of your test results in writing. Ask about this on the day of your appointment.
Have screening mammograms and professional breast exams as often as your healthcare provider recommends. Also, be sure to do regular breast self-exams.