Breast Imaging - Mammography

Service Description

Mammography is an x-ray examination of your breasts. A mammogram is a procedure used to help find lumps in the breasts that might not be detected otherwise. The Kearney Breast Center is equipped with private dressing rooms and three mammography rooms with exceptional technology to ensure that you receive extraordinary, compassionate care.

How is my mammogram scheduled?

Either your healthcare provider's office will contact the Kearney Breast Center and arrange for an appointment time, or you can call 360.514.6161 and schedule your screening appointment. (For annual screening mammograms, you do not need a medical referral.) Please schedule your mammogram on a day of the month when your breasts are not tender. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider's office to clarify how to make arrangements for your mammogram.

Preparing for your mammogram

  • If you are still menstruating, schedule your mammogramfor the week after your period, when breasts are generally less tender.
  • Do not wear lotion, powder, perfume or deodorant under your arms or on your breasts the day of the exam. (These products can cause shadows on the x-rays.)
  • Wear a two-piece outfit, as you will need to undress above the waist for the exam.
  • Bring a list of places and dates of mammograms, biopsies, or other breast-related procedures that you have had.
  • Tell your healthcare provider and the mammography technologist if you are or might be pregnant.

What happens during my mammogram?

You will be given a gown and asked to undress above the waist. You will then be positioned at the mammography machine. Your breast will be compressed between two plastic plates. This compression is necessary for the best imaging of your breast.

You may feel some discomfort, which will last only a few seconds. However, be sure to let our staff know if you are sensitive. We may be able to make adjustments that will help you feel more comfortable.

The x-rays will be taken from all angles of your breasts: top, bottom and sides. The technologist will check to be sure that the x-ray is clear before you get dressed, in case another x-ray needs to be taken.

How long does the mammogram take?

A mammogram will take from 20 to 45 minutes.

What happens after my mammogram?

A radiologist specially trained in mammography studies your mammogram and sends a written report to your healthcare provider. In most cases, the written report is sent within three working days.

Your healthcare provider will inform you of the results of your mammogram. You may be asked to return to the Kearney Breast Center for additional x-rays. This does not always mean an abnormality was found. Often, the radiologist sees an area that requires additional examinations (such as a breast ultrasound or MRI) or diagnostic procedures for a more thorough evaluation. If you have any questions about your mammography results, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.

Resources

Kearney Breast Center

Primary Physicians