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What to Expect During your 3D Mammogram

If you’ve never had a mammogram, don’t let fear about the exam prevent you from making that appointment! The entire process typically takes less than 30 minutes, and since there is 525,600 minutes in a year, that seems like a reasonable trade-off to possibly save your life!

After you fill out typical healthcare paperwork, you’ll be taken back to a changing area and given a gown to wear in place of your blouse. You keep your bottoms on.

Then, you enter directly into the mammo room (no one seems you in that glamourous gown top!). The certified mammography technologist will walk you through the exam from there.

There’s a tall 3D mammogram machine where you’ll be standing. The technologist will move between you and a computer terminal that is viewing the images as they are taken.

The technologist will place on breast on a “tray” that raises or lowers depending upon your height. She’ll position your breast, head, arms and torso to get the best test results.

Your breast is then pressed against the tray by a clear plate. You’ll feel some pressure for a few seconds as your breast tissue is spread out. Most women find it uncomfortable, but not necessarily painful. The technologist will also continue to ask you if you’re comfortable with the pressure. If you’re not, say so!

The technologist will then direct you to hold your breath for a few seconds as the image is taken. The X-ray arm seeps in a slight arc over the breast, taking multiple breast images in just seconds.

She’ll reposition you a few times to get different views of each breast.

With the 3D image technology, the radiologist is able to view your breast tissue in one millimeter layers, compared to one flat image like a 2D mammogram.

If you’re nervous about taking the test, let’s talk it out! Our technologists are always happy to share their insights, especially if it makes the test more comfortable for you. Talk with one of our technologists at (208) 535-4555.

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