What is a diagnostic mammogram?
A diagnostic mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast performed to further evaluate an abnormality seen on a screening mammogram. Diagnostic mammograms are also performed when the patient has a breast symptom or complaint or for a follow up from a prior mammogram.
Do you offer diagnostic mammogram in 3D tomosynthesis or 2D?
We currently offer diagnostic mammogram in 3D tomosynthesis. Occasionally the radiologist may request the mammogram be performed in 2D due to a specific finding which better visualized on 2D. However most findings, including invasive cancers, are better detected with 3D tomosynthesis.
Click here to find out more about the benefits of 3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis)
Who reads my diagnostic mammogram?
Your mammogram will be interpreted by a radiologist specializing in breast imaging. These results will be discussed with you following your diagnostic examination in person by a physician.
What to expect during my exam?
- On the day of your exam, we recommended not using deodorant, perfume, powder or creams on your breasts or underarm area. Using these products can interfere with the quality of the images.
- If you have images from an outside facility, please bring these images to your screening appointment. Outside images are important to evaluate for changes in the breast tissue.
- Depending on the initial screening mammogram finding or reported complaint of the patient, pictures will be taken of the breast. Pressure will be applied while taking the picture. Although pressure may be uncomfortable, it is essential to obtain diagnostic quality images. The pressure will not damage the breast tissue.
- We use the latest mammography technology to limit radiation exposure.
- You may also have a diagnostic ultrasound performed, depending on the initial screening mammogram finding or reported complaint.
What are the possible outcomes from my diagnostic mammogram?
Breast Imaging at UCLA provides a full range of high quality and innovative breast imaging studies, treatments and procedures to the greater Los Angeles area. We are currently located in Westwood, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Santa Clarita, Toluca Lake, Manhattan Beach, and Palos Verdes. Click here to learn more about all of our locations.
- Your finding is benign (not cancer).
- Your finding is probably benign (probably not cancer). You will be recommended for close interval follow up by mammogram or ultrasound.
- Your finding is suspicious and a biopsy is recommended. A biopsy is the only definitive way to confirm if a suspicious finding is benign (not cancer).