While a screening mammogram is encouraged each year for women who do not have significant breast symptoms, your doctor may order a diagnostic mammogram if you are experiencing a worrisome lump, changes in the breast skin, pain, nipple discharge, or if you have a personal history of breast cancer. Diagnostic mammography may also be performed if your screening mammogram demonstrates a possible abnormality. The type and number of mammographic views taken will be customized to your situation. A diagnostic mammogram is not considered a preventive care service by most insurance companies. This exam may be subject to deductibles and co-insurance, so we suggest you contact your insurance provider with coverage questions. For more information on this and other radiology procedures, please visit www.radiologyinfo.org. Meet our Mammography team. or download the Breast Health Brochure.
Please allow up to 1 hour for your exam. You are asked to not wear body powder or deodorant. Two-piece clothing is more convenient. To reduce tenderness, have a caffeine-free diet for several days before the exam. During your diagnostic mammogram appointment, the radiologist may decide it is necessary to perform a breast ultrasound in order to assess the characteristics of a lump. A breast ultrasound examination produces images of your breast using inaudible sound waves in a frequency range far above the range of human hearing. A hypoallergenic, water-soluble gel will then be applied to your breast to prevent air from getting between the ultrasound source and your skin. A small probe will be passed over the surface of your breast, producing a painless sensation of light pressure on your skin.
Our Charlotte Radiology Breast Centers that offer Diagnostic Mammography are staffed by a radiologist, who is a doctor focused solely on mammography and the accurate detection of breast cancer. At the time of your visit, the radiologist will review your exam results with you and explain any further recommendations. Your primary care physician will receive the results by fax within 24-48 hours of your visit. If you have had a previous mammogram at a facility other than Charlotte Radiology, please let us know so that we may obtain these films for the radiologists to compare with your new studies. As with screening mammography, it is extremely important for the radiologist to have your prior films for comparison, as it enhances the doctor's ability to detect a subtle change or small abnormality on your current mammogram.
Your doctor needs to make your appointment for a diagnostic mammogram. He or she can call our Breast Center at 704-367-2232 or 877-362-2232.