High Quality Imaging Standards at Bayhealth Breast Center
Bayhealth is the only full service Breast Center in Central Delaware with comprehensive breast imaging services. Our quality program is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR), a national accrediting organization that mandates diagnostic quality and safety standards. For mammography specific accreditation, Bayhealth has achieved excellence in:
- Staff qualifications
- Quality Control
- Quality assurance
- Image quality
- Radiation Dose
Our expertly trained breast imaging specialists use advanced imaging for higher definition breast diagnostics, including:
- Breast Biopsy
- Computer Aided Detection (CAD) Double Read Mammography Technology
- Digital Mammography
- Guided MRI
- Stereotactic Ultrasound
What is Mammography or a Mammogram Screening?
Mammography is an X-ray examination of the breast. It is used to detect and diagnose breast disease in women who either have breast problems such as a lump, pain, or nipple discharge, as well as for women who have no breast complaints. The procedure allows detection of breast cancers, benign tumors, and cysts before they can be detected by palpation (touch) or physical exam.
Before a Mammogram Screening
No fasting or sedation is required before a mammogram screening procedure, but if you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, you should notify your doctor.
Breasts are often tender the week before and during menstruation, so try to schedule your mammogram for one to two weeks after your period starts.
Avoid using deodorant, perfume, powders, or ointment on the breast or underarm area on the day of the mammogram. It may interfere with the reading.
Comparison with old mammograms is very important. If you are having a mammogram performed at a new facility, you may be asked for access to your previous mammograms from the previous facility.
What to Expect During a Mammogram Screening
You will be asked to remove clothing from your waist up, and will be given a gown to wear. The technologist will ask you if you have noticed any lumps or other changes in either breast. If so, an adhesive marker will be placed on the spot(s) prior to the procedure. Notify your technologist if you have breast implants or if you are breastfeeding.
Standing in front or to the side of a mammography machine, qualified technicians will position each breast on the X-ray plate. An adhesive marker may be applied to any moles, scars, or other spots that might interfere with the breast image.
A separate flat plate, often made of plastic, will be brought down on top of the breast to compress it gently against the X-ray plate. Compression of the breast is required in order to minimize the amount of radiation used and to ensure optimal visualization of the breast tissue. You may feel some discomfort during this time.
You will be asked to hold your breath while the image is being taken and the radiologic technologist will step behind a protective window while the image is taken. Additional steps include:
- At least two pictures of each breast at different angles will be taken, requiring the breasts to be repositioned between pictures.
- After the X-rays have been taken, you will be asked to wait while the films are examined by the technologist to ensure that quality images have been received. If there is a question about any of the films, you may be asked to have additional films taken.
- The examination process takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
- Generally, there is no special type of care following a mammogram
The manipulation and compression of the breast being examined may cause some discomfort or pain. The radiologic technologist will use all possible comfort measures and complete the procedure as quickly as possible to minimize any discomfort or pain.