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How to Prepare for Your Mammogram: Tips for a Smooth Experience

Published June 4th, 2024 by Great Lakes Medical Imaging

Getting ready for a mammogram can be a source of anxiety for many women, especially if it's their first time. However, understanding what to expect and how to prepare can make the experience smoother and less stressful. At Great Lakes Medical Imaging (GLMI), we are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality care and ensuring your mammogram experience is as comfortable as possible. Here are some practical tips to help you prepare for your mammogram.

Understanding the Importance of Mammograms

Mammograms are essential screening tools for detecting breast cancer early, often before any symptoms appear. Early detection significantly improves the chances of successful treatment and can reduce the need for more aggressive interventions. By preparing properly, you can help ensure that your mammogram is as effective and accurate as possible.

Schedule Your Appointment Wisely

Timing Matters

  • Menstrual Cycle Consideration: If you are premenopausal, try to schedule your mammogram for a time when your breasts are least likely to be tender, typically one week after your period. This can help reduce discomfort during the procedure.
  • Annual Check-Up: Make mammograms a part of your annual health check-up. Consistent timing each year helps track any changes in breast tissue accurately.

Appointment Details

  • Confirm the Time: Double-check the date and time of your appointment. Arriving a few minutes early can help you feel more relaxed and prepared.
  • Provide Previous Records: If this is your first visit to GLMI, bring any prior mammogram images or records. This helps our radiologists compare past and present images for any changes.

What to Wear

Clothing Choices

  • Two-Piece Outfit: Wear a two-piece outfit so you only need to remove your top. This makes the process more convenient and comfortable.
  • Avoid Deodorants and Lotions: On the day of your mammogram, avoid using deodorants, antiperspirants, powders, lotions, or perfumes on your breasts or underarms. These products can contain substances that might interfere with the X-ray images, leading to unclear results.

Prepare for the Procedure

Pain Management

  • Pain Relievers: If you have sensitive breasts, consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen about an hour before your appointment to minimize discomfort.
  • Communicate Discomfort: Inform the technician if you experience discomfort during the procedure. They can adjust the machine to make you more comfortable.

Stay Relaxed

  • Deep Breathing: Practice deep breathing exercises to stay calm. Relaxing your muscles can make the process smoother.
  • Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask the technician any questions you might have about the procedure. Understanding what to expect can help alleviate anxiety.

During the Mammogram

What to Expect

  • Positioning: The technician will position your breast on the mammography machine. Your breast will be compressed briefly to get a clear image. This compression, while uncomfortable for a few seconds, is necessary for accurate results.
  • Multiple Images: Several images from different angles may be taken. This is normal and helps provide a comprehensive view of the breast tissue.


  • Express Concerns: If at any point you feel pain or excessive discomfort, let the technician know immediately. They can make adjustments to ease the process.

After the Mammogram


  • Follow-Up: After your mammogram, you can usually resume normal activities immediately. The images will be reviewed by a radiologist, and your results will be sent to you and your healthcare provider.
  • Next Steps: If the results are normal, continue with your regular screening schedule. If any abnormalities are found, follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for further tests or evaluations.

Contact Us for Your Mammogram Needs in Buffalo, NY

At Great Lakes Medical Imaging, we are committed to providing you with the best care and making your mammogram experience as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or need to schedule a mammogram, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our dedicated team is here to support you every step of the way.

Taking the time to prepare for your mammogram can help ensure a smooth and stress-free experience. Remember, regular mammograms are a vital part of maintaining your breast health and catching potential issues early. Schedule your mammogram with GLMI today and take a proactive step towards your health and well-being.

Disclaimer: This blog article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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