A mammogram is an x-ray image of breast tissue that can help screen for breast cancer. WVU Medicine uses the most advanced mammography equipment to provide you with high-quality, 3D images using low-dose radiation during the imaging process.
Routine screening mammograms play a critical role in the early detection of breast cancer and providing improved outcomes for patients. Talk to your doctor about recommendations for when you need to receive a mammogram. Based on your risk factors and medical history, your mammogram screening recommendations may differ.
WVU Medicine is recognized for the highest level of imaging quality and patient safety by the American College of Radiology in mammography. Our caring, knowledgeable, and experienced radiologists and technologists are all board and state certified experts in their fields.
Imaging We Offer
- Breast MRI
- Breast scan
- Breast ultrasound
- Bone density scan along with screening mammogram
- Diagnostic mammography (for patients with a new breast abnormality)
- Mobile mammography with Bonnie’s Bus
- Screening mammography (for patients with no symptoms)
What to Expect
During a mammogram, you stand in front of the mammography machine, and the technologist places one of your breasts on a platform and adjusts the platform to a comfortable height for you. The technologist helps you position your head, arms, and torso to allow a clear and unobstructed view of your breast tissue. Your breast is gradually compressed against the platform by a clear, plastic plate. Pressure is applied for a few seconds to spread the breast tissue out.
Compression of the breast minimizes the dose of radiation needed to penetrate the tissue and holds your breast still to decrease blurring from movement. During the brief x-ray exposure, you’ll be asked to remain still, and compression will automatically release once the exposure is complete.
After images are made of both your breasts, the technologist will check the quality of the images. If the views are inadequate for technical reasons, such as motion or the need to include more breast tissue than what is seen, you may have to repeat part of the test.
After the test, if you are being seen for a yearly routine screening mammogram, you are free to leave once your imaging is complete. According to federal law, you will be notified of the results of your mammogram within 30 days, but you can usually expect to receive your results sooner. Your result letter will be mailed to you the day after your exam is read by the radiologist.
If you are being seen for diagnostic imaging, you can expect to wait while your images are reviewed in case further testing is needed. You will receive your results the same day. If the radiologist notes any areas of question or concern on your screening mammogram, further testing will be recommended, and we will contact you for scheduling. To communicate easily and securely with your WVU Medicine provider, sign up for our free patient portal, MyWVUChart.