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with Mercy Breast Clinic
For some women the word ‘mammogram’ musters anxiety and apprehension – after all, it’s not every day your breasts wilfully undergo a flattening out. However, the procedure itself isn’t as dramatic as many assume nor discomfort intolerable.
Firstly, our radiologist will demonstrate how the clear plastic compression plates work and explain why flattening the breast tissue makes it easier to read the results. Once your breasts are positioned and compressed between the plates, two x-rays are taken of each breast. Results are checked and discussed with you immediately, at which time we may ask you to undergo a further mammogram or a breast ultrasound.
Today’s high-quality technology has afforded us greater technique and improved visuals when taking mammograms, and many women find the actual ‘pain’ significantly less than what they anticipated. Feeling pressure and slight discomfort is normal during a mammogram as your breasts are compressed between two plates, however, this only lasts a few seconds. If at any stage the pain were to become unbearable it’s important to inform our specialists. To keep pain to a minimum, we encourage our patients to undergo an examination outside of premenstrual days – and during their period – when breasts may be swollen or tender. Remember, everyone is different – pain thresholds included – so every mammogram is truly unique to the individual.
Read our dedicated First Mammogram page for patients who are preparing for their very first mammogram.