Breast Imaging Exams

Please note our X-ray machine at the Macleod location is down for scheduled maintenance.

Please select your exam from the below options to find out more about the procedure and the preparation required for your exam.

Mammography is an x-ray of the breast ordered to assess breast tissue and is used for the early detection of cancer in women who have no apparent symptoms. Screening Mammography monitors changes in the breast over time and can help in the early diagnosis of Breast Cancer.

You may self refer for your mammogram if you have had one mammogram at 40 with a referral form from your physician and if you do not have any of the following:

  • You do not have implants
  • No new issues e.g. lump
  • No previous breast cancer
  • Dense breasts

After your first mammogram at 40 you can self refer without the form from your doctor.

Canadian Association of Radiology Guidelines

Asymptomatic women 40–49 years should undergo screening mammography every year.

Asymptomatic women aged 50 to 74 should undergo screening mammography every one to two years.

Women over the age of 74 should have screening mammography at one to two-year intervals if they are in good general health.

Breast Tomosynthesis allows Radiologists to examine breast tissue one layer at a time producing a 3D image.

Pureform Procedure

You will be asked to disrobe from the waist up and will be provided with a gown. Your Technologist will bring you into the mammography room and have you take a seat while she asks you a few more questions about your breast health history. After that, she will ask you to disrobe and position your breast on a flat platform area, where after she positions your breast, will then start compression. Compression only lasts for a matter of seconds and then will be released. This can be somewhat uncomfortable but with the latest of technologies patients have given feedback that their experience has been a positive one.

Your Technologist (MRT) will take a minimum of two images of each breast. She will review your breast density Volpara score and will determine if your breast ultrasound is needed . If your breasts are dense then you will be taken to the ultrasound area where your breast ultrasound will be performed.

Once you have your ultrasound you will be free to leave.  A Radiologist will review your mammogram and ultrasound together and they may determine additional views are necessary.   You will then receive a call from us to book another appointment.   If no additional views are needed, your doctor will receive a report and you will receive a result letter in the mail.

Please review your report with your doctor to discuss your Volpara score and if there is any annual additional screening that the Radiologists may have recommended.

Preparation

Please do not use deodorant, antiperspirant, powder or lotion as it can interfere with the images. If tenderness is an issue, please avoid caffeine for 24-28 hours before your appointment. For comfort, you may also wish to delay this appointment until premenstrual breast tenderness goes away (Unless this is a diagnostic exam)We recommend that you wear a two piece outfit for this exam.

When Will I get my Results?

Your doctor who ordered the exam will receive the results.

Please note that it is very important that we receive your prior images before our Radiologist reports your mammogram and sends to your doctor. We may hold your exam until we receive these prior images and then your results will be sent to your doctor. Please give booking all the needed information on where you had your prior exam done at.

Occasionally you may get a call back from our office if the Radiologist would like to supplement your mammogram with extra images and ultrasound.

Mammography is an x-ray of the breast ordered to assess breast tissue and is used for the early detection of cancer in women who have no apparent symptoms. Screening Mammography monitors changes in the breast over time and can help in the early diagnosis of Breast Cancer.

You may self refer for your mammogram if you have had one mammogram at 40 with a referral form from your physician and if you do not have any of the following:

  • You do not have implants
  • No new issues e.g. lump
  • No previous breast cancer
  • Dense breasts

After your first mammogram at 40 you can self refer without the form from your doctor.

Canadian Association of Radiology Guidelines

Asymptomatic women 40–49 years should undergo screening mammography every year.

Asymptomatic women aged 50 to 74 should undergo screening mammography every one to two years.

Women over the age of 74 should have screening mammography at one to two-year intervals if they are in good general health.

Breast Tomosynthesis allows Radiologists to examine breast tissue one layer at a time producing a 3D image.

Pureform Procedure

You will be asked to disrobe from the waist up and will be provided with a gown. Your Technologist will bring you into the mammography room and have you take a seat while she asks you a few more questions about your breast health history. After that, she will ask you to disrobe and position your breast on a flat platform area, where after she positions your breast, will then start compression. Compression only lasts for a matter of seconds and then will be released. This can be somewhat uncomfortable but with the latest of technologies patients have given feedback that their experience has been a positive one.

Your technologist will take two images of each breast and then you will be free to leave.

Preparation

Please do not use deodorant, antiperspirant, powder or lotion as it can interfere with the images. If tenderness is an issue, please avoid caffeine for 24-28 hours before your appointment. For comfort, you may also wish to delay this appointment until premenstrual breast tenderness goes away.

We recommend that you wear a two piece outfit for this exam.

When Will I get my Results?

Your doctor who ordered the exam will receive the results.

Please note that it is very important that we receive your prior images before our Radiologist reports your mammogram and sends to your doctor. We may hold your exam until we receive these prior images and then your results will be sent to your doctor. Please give booking all the needed information on where you had your prior exam done at.

Occasionally you may get a call back from our office if the Radiologist would like to supplement your mammogram with extra images and ultrasound.

Diagnostic Mammography is an x-ray of the breast ordered for men or women. A Diagnostic Mammogram different than screening, is ordered if you are having issues or have noticed changes with your breasts. Some examples are a lump, redness, dimpling or discharge from your nipple. Always speak with your doctor if you have noticed any of these changes. A requisition is required to book this exam.

Canadian Association of Radiology Guidelines

Asymptomatic women 40–49 years should undergo screening mammography every year.

Asymptomatic women aged 50 to 74 should undergo screening mammography every one to two years.

Women over the age of 74 should have screening mammography at one to two-year intervals if they are in good general health.

Pureform Procedure

You will be asked to disrobe from the waist up and will be provided with a gown. Your Technologist will bring you into the mammography room and then ask you a few more questions about your breast health history and family history of breast cancer. After that she will ask to disrobe and will position and adjust your breast on a flat platform area in order to get the most breast tissue in the image, and then will start compression. Compression only lasts for a matter of seconds and then will be released. This can sometimes be uncomfortable but with the latest of technologies patients have given feedback that their experience has been a positive one.

Your Technologist (MRT) will take a minimum of two images of each breast which they will check with the breast Radiologist on site. Your technologist will then bring you for a breast ultrasound  which usually takes between 30 to 45 minutes, depending on if they are  scanning one side or bilateral . The sonographer will then discuss your images with the Radiologist.

The Radiologist will come up with a plan, whether it's returning for a 3 to 6-month follow-up or they may even recommend a biopsy, which will be booked before you leave the clinic.

Preparation

Please do not use deodorant, antiperspirant, powder or lotion as it can interfere with the images. If tenderness is an issue, please avoid caffeine for 24-28 hours before your appointment. For comfort, you may also wish to delay this appointment until premenstrual breast tenderness goes away (Unless this is a diagnostic exam)We recommend that you wear a two piece outfit for this exam.

When Will I get my Results?

Your doctor who ordered the exam will receive the results in 1-2 business days or same day if required urgently.

A Breast ultrasound would be ordered if you notice changes in your breast such as a lump, puckering, redness or discharge from your nipple. This exam may also be ordered routinely if you have dense breasts as a supplement to your screening mammogram. Please speak with your doctor to discuss what screening program is right for you. We do require a requisition from your doctor if Breast ultrasound is required.

Pureform Procedure

After positioning on the bed, the sonographer will begin the exam by preparing the area for scanning. Your Breast area will need to be disrobed so the sonographer will be able to examine the entire Breast.

A transmission medium such as gel or cream will be applied to the area to ensure sufficient transmission of ultrasound waves. This ensures excellent image quality.

During the exam the ultrasound transducer will be moved around the areas of concern, ensuring each area is imaged completely. The sonographer may reposition a patient to ensure all needed images are taken.

From time to time the sonographer may need to apply some pressure on the probe to completely image a structure. This may cause some minor discomfort but should never be painful. Please communicate with your sonographer during your exam to ensure the best possible experience.

Preparation

Please do not wear any antiperspirant, deodorant, lotion or powder under your arms for this can interfere with images. Arrive 15 minutes early and to bring your Alberta Health Care card.

When Will I get my Results?

Your doctor who ordered the exam will receive the results in 1-2 business days or same day if required urgently.