It’s vital that a patient understand what the preparation that’s required in terms of a mammogram. Often times not being educated on the procedure can be a source of difficulty for the patient. While education falls on the shoulders of the physician ordering the procedure, it’s good for the patient to engage in research as well and understand a few key elements. The preparation for a mammogram is simple and follows these easy steps:
- The patient needs to choose a facility that’s properly certified.
- Schedule the test for when the breasts are least likely to be tender (post menstruation)
- Provide the physician with prior images if you have any, they may serve as a comparison and help establish any discrepancies.
- Don’t use deodorant prior to the test or anything containing metallic particles.
- Consider using over the counter pain medication if you feel that your procedure is likely to be painful.
A certification is vital because it ensures that the facility you are going to is held to and meets specific standards. It’s not enough that a facility merely has the equipment, it’s key that the facility be considered capable. The tenderness of a woman’s breast is a key consideration.
A mammogram may be uncomfortable; a breast that’s tender will likely lead to a more uncomfortable procedure and the tenderness of the tissue may give a different reading, not necessarily of cancer, but certainly something different. Pre menopausal women can do this a week after their period, the week before and the week of the period will be a time when tenderness is at its height. The provision of images prior to the procedure is very important.
If there have been lesions, calcifications, benign tumors, or masses, it’s important that the physician know it and be able to use the previous image as a comparison. The results of a new image may reveal changes, good and bad, in so far as the status of the breast is concerned. The usage of deodorant and any other type of perfume, powder, or form of ointment is prohibited.
If the patient wants to smell well that’s all good but the truth is that those very pleasant smells can cause image confusion. It’s the metallic particles that may throw a monkey wrench in the image. It’s vital that this particular prep step not be violated by the patient.
While the prep is vital, the physician needs to be able to tell the patient the possible discomfort that may be felt during the procedure itself. It’s important to know what the patient can take even if it’s just an over the counter remedy.
The facility needs to not only count on quality equipment but also on a staff that can explain preparation properly and aid the patient in making it as comfortable as possible.
If you have any questions about mammography systems or any other diagnostic imaging systems please feel free to give us a call. Our team of experts here at Amber Diagnostics looks forward to answering all your questions.