There are few preventative tests more important to women’s health than mammograms. However, many women put off getting their first mammogram because they are concerned about what to expect. Don’t avoid this life-saving test because the process is a mystery. The experts at the Florida Breast Institute at Largo Medical Center are always available to discuss your questions and concerns before, during, and after a mammogram. Here is a glimpse of what to expect at your first appointment.
Change into a Comfortable Spa-like Robe
When you arrive for a mammogram, you will be asked to remove your top and bra and to change into a comfortable spa-like robe. Since you have to be undressed from the waist up, many women make it a point to wear pants or a skirt on the days they are having mammograms, instead of a dress that needs to be completely removed. The hospital will work hard to protect your privacy during the mammogram. Only a technician will be in the room with you.
Complete the X-Rays
For the X-rays themselves, a technician will place one of your breasts on a metal plate. Then, the breast is gently compressed and an image is taken. The technologist may take a few images from different angles and then repeat the process on the other breast. The compression itself isn’t usually painful but may cause some discomfort. It only lasts for a few seconds. Some women find that it is best to avoid scheduling mammograms to coincide with periods, since breasts can be especially tender at that time.
Receive Your Results
You should receive your results in less than 30 days, and in most cases much sooner. If you are asked to come back for a follow-up, it generally means that an image is blurry or that your doctor needs a closer look at a specific region. Only two to four mammograms out of 1,000 show breast cancer.
Largo Medical Center’s Florida Breast Institute is committed to making mammograms positive, comfortable experiences for our patients. Schedule your first mammogram at our Pinellas County hospital by calling (727) 470-6826. At Largo Medical Center, you will also find an emergency room, a bariatric surgery center, a robotic surgery team, and much more.