A screening mammogram is performed on women without symptoms as a “checkup” once per year beginning at age 40. A minimum of four X-ray pictures, two of each breast, are taken on a special X-ray machine used for mammograms only.
The breasts are compressed during the exam to reduce motion, spread out the breast tissue, and limit the amount of X-rays necessary to penetrate the breasts. This will ensure the best possible images.
Screening mammograms take approximately 15 minutes. Mammograms are performed by technologists with advanced training and certification in breast imaging. After the X-rays are obtained they will be interpreted by one of our women’s imagers, who are board certified radiologists who specialize in breast imaging.
All Rhode Island Medical Imaging facilities are accredited in mammography by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and are inspected yearly by the FDA.
Screening mammograms are not interpreted while the patient is waiting. They are usually read the next day and the final report is then sent to your doctor as soon as possible. You can expect to receive a copy of the report in the mail. If your screening mammogram is normal, your next one will be recommended in one year.
For additional information, mammographysaveslives.org is a great resource created by the ACR.
Do not wear any powder or deodorant under the arms or around the breast area.
All RIMI mammograms are performed on state-of-the-art digital equipment that permits the fastest and most accurate images possible. In addition, all mammograms are interpreted with computer-aided detection (CAD), a computer software program that searches for abnormal areas of density, mass, or calcification that may indicate the presence of a problem. The CAD system highlights these areas on the images, alerting the radiologist to the need for further analysis.