Before the test
If you're pregnant or think you might be, tell your imaging tech before your mammogram starts. The radiation from the x-ray exposure can be harmful to an unborn baby.
Describe any breast problems to your tech.
Take off your shirt, bra, and any jewelry. We'll give you a wrap or gown to wear.
During your 3D mammogram
Your imaging tech will:
Place you in front of a special x-ray machine with a platform to place your breast on. Adjust the height of the platform to lift one breast.
Move a plastic, contoured plate close to the platform to gently compress the breast for a few seconds. This slight pressure spreads the breast tissue allowing for a clearer image.
Tell the technologist if you are feeling any discomfort as we are committed to making this as comfortable as possible. At UPMC, many of our sites use the new smart curve paddles for your comfort.
Take two pictures of the breast.
- You will face the platform, which takes an x-ray looking down at the breast.
- You will stand beside the machine, which takes a side view image of the breast.
Repeat the steps above on the other breast.
Your tech may need to take more than four digital pictures of the breasts if:
- You have implants.
- Your doctor wants to look at a specific spot of breast tissue more closely.
- The exam may cause some discomfort, but the tech will be right there to help comfort you.
After Your Mammogram
You can return to your normal routine right away after your mammogram.