How Do I Prepare for My Mammography?

Mammography machineIf you’ve never had a mammogram, you may have questions about what the procedure is, how to prepare for your first test, and the role mammograms play in maintaining your health.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the number of women who die each year of breast cancer has plummeted by 30 percent since mammography became mainstream in the early 1990s. Mammograms are easy, safe and effective, and are the most important tool in the early detection of breast cancer.

How Should I Prepare for My Mammogram?

PURE Mammography is fully accredited and staffed by board-certified physicians who strive to treat you in a comfortable and convenient spa-like setting.

If you’ve had a previous mammogram at another facility, bring your CD containing your images to PURE Mammography so that our radiologists can compare it to your new screening results. If you don’t have a CD, the staff at PURE can request your prior mammogram results from other providers over the phone.

Things to consider when scheduling your mammogram:

  • Choose a time when your breasts are not tender. For pre-menopausal women, the best time is about a week after the end of your period.
  • Don’t wear deodorant, antiperspirant or powder the day of your appointment. The particles in these products can interfere with the x-ray imaging and produce false positives.
  • Take a dose of over-the-counter pain medicine (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, etc.) about an hour before your exam if you’re concerned about or have previously experienced pain during a mammogram.

What Should I Expect During the Exam?

At PURE Mammography, you’ll be given a plush robe to wear and will be asked to remove necklaces and clothing from the waist up. For your convenience, consider wearing a two-piece outfit to your exam.

During the procedure, you’ll stand in front of a specialized x-ray machine designed for mammography. A technician will place your breast on a platform adjusted for your height. The technician will place your arms, torso and head in the correct position to allow for an unobstructed view of the breast tissue. The breast is then gently pressed against the platform by a clear plastic paddle. Pressure is applied for a couple of seconds while the x-ray machine captures the images. Pressure is necessary to ensure an even thickness of breast tissue, allowing the x-ray to penetrate the tissue and get the best quality pictures. You’ll need to stand perfectly still and hold your breath during the x-ray to ensure the images aren’t blurry. The entire procedure is repeated for the other breast.

While most women find mammograms painless, others will experience some pain. Don’t hesitate to tell the technician if you’re in pain. They will do their best to try to minimize it.

What Happens After the Exam?

After your exam is over, your technician may ask you to wait while the images are checked for quality. If the x-rays are blurry, or there’s a technical error, you’ll be asked to repeat the procedure. Usually, a mammogram takes less than 30 minutes. After the test, you can get dressed and resume your day.

Where Can I Get a Mammogram on Long Island?

PURE Mammography is Long Island’s premier site for breast cancer screenings and serves women from all over Long Island and the greater New York City area. Our state-of-the-art facility is the only mammography center conveniently located within a shopping mall. The facility was designed by a leader in spa management and design to deliver the utmost convenience, pampering and care to our patients.

There’s no need to make an appointment at PURE Mammography. Stop in today for your screening of if you’d like to call ahead, call us at 631-652-3424 or visit our website.

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