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Information on Mammograms

What is a mammogram?

Mammography is an x-ray examination of the breasts. Over 90% of these examinations are normal.


 Please adhere to the specified appointment time. Our schedule is busy so we may not be able to accommodate late arrivals on the day.


Do not use deodorant, talcum powder or any other preparation either under the arm or on the breast.

Wear a top with a skirt or trousers – it makes it easier to undress.

Allow at least 30 minutes for the examination to be completed.


The Mammography department is located on the First floor of the Main Hospital.

On arrival in the department you will be checked in at reception. Your name, date of birth and address will be confirmed.

You will then be asked to undress to the waist and to put on a gown. The radiographer will take a short history before starting the mammogram. If you have Breast Implants, advise the radiographer before the examination.

Please inform the radiographer if there is any chance you may be pregnant.


The Radiographer takes a minimum of two images of each breast.

  1. Image one is taken from above.
  2. Image two is taken at 45 degrees to the first image.
  3. Further images or modifications on the standard image may be required.


Each image requires the breast to be compressed between two plastic surfaces. The degree of discomfort experienced by patients’ varies greatly. You should try to tolerate optimal compression. It

  1. Reduces radiation.
  2. Separates overlapping tissue.
  3. Can make a difference between finding and missing a breast cancer.



Your mammogram will be reported by a radiologist and the results will be forwarded to the referring doctor within 5 working days.


What if I am called back

 Approximately 1 in 20 women is recalled for further tests to assist with diagnosis. Most women are given normal results after the tests.


What if I cannot keep the appointment time

If you are unable to attend on the day or at the appointed time please telephone the radiology department (01) 2214992, at least 2-3 days in advance. This will ensure that the appointment will be filled by another patient. 

  • ·    If you have had this examination performed recently in another hospital/clinic please contact us.
  •    If you have any questions or problems regarding this examination please contact us.
  •    This information has been supplied by the

 Radiology Department,

St Vincent’s University Hospital.

   Tel : 01 221 4992

   Fax: 01 2213395


  May 2009

 Revision Date May 2010