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Navigating Your First Mammogram: A Step-by-Step Guide for Peace of Mind

Published April 12th, 2024 by Great Lakes Medical Imaging

Embarking on the journey of your first mammogram can evoke a mix of emotions, from apprehension to curiosity. Mammograms are a critical tool in the early detection of breast cancer, and while the process is straightforward and quick, knowing what to expect can significantly ease any nerves. 

Great Lakes Medical Imaging (GLMI) is dedicated to providing a comfortable and informative experience across all our locations in Buffalo, NY, including Williamsville, Cheektowaga, Orchard Park, and Niagara. Here’s a step-by-step guide to navigating your first mammogram with GLMI, designed to offer you peace of mind from start to finish.

Before Your Appointment

Choose the Right Facility: Great Lakes Medical Imaging offers state-of-the-art mammography services across Western New York. Our locations include:

  • 111 N. Maplemere Rd, Suite 120 – Williamsville
  • 3085 Harlem Road – Cheektowaga
  • 500 Sterling Park – Orchard Park
  • 5959 Big Tree Road Suite 105 – Orchard Park
  • 3850 Saunders Settlement Road – Niagara

Schedule Wisely: Timing your mammogram is important. If you’re still menstruating, try to book your appointment for the week after your period when your breasts are less likely to be tender.

What to Wear: On the day of your mammogram, wear comfortable clothing. Since you will need to undress from the waist up, a two-piece outfit is most convenient.

What to Avoid: Skip deodorants, antiperspirants, or lotions on your chest and underarm areas on the day of the exam, as these can appear as white spots on the images.

During Your Appointment

Check-in: Upon arrival at your chosen GLMI location, you’ll check in and may need to complete some paperwork regarding your health history and any breast symptoms.

Changing: You’ll be provided with a gown and asked to remove clothing and jewelry from the waist up. You’ll wear the gown with the opening at the front.

The Mammogram Process:

  1. The Technologist: A radiologic technologist will guide you through the process. They are experienced professionals who specialize in mammography.
  2. Positioning: The technologist will position your breast on the mammogram machine's plate. One breast is imaged at a time.
  3. Compression: Another plate will press your breast from above. The compression lasts only a few seconds and is necessary to spread out the breast tissue for clear images. It might be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful. If it hurts, let the technologist know.
  4. Images: The machine takes X-rays from different angles. You’ll be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds as the images are taken. The process is then repeated for your other breast.
  5. Duration: The entire procedure usually takes about 20 minutes.

After Your Appointment

Results: A radiologist will analyze your mammograms and send a report to your doctor. GLMI ensures prompt processing, so you’ll typically hear from your doctor about the results within a few days. If there’s any need for additional imaging, you’ll be contacted to discuss the next steps.

Follow-Up: It’s important to follow up with your healthcare provider about your results and any recommended next steps.

Ensuring Your Comfort

At GLMI, we understand that a mammogram can be an anxiety-inducing experience, especially the first time. Our staff is dedicated to making the process as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Feel free to express any concerns or ask questions at any point during your visit.

Where To Get a Mammogram in Buffalo, NY

Remember, mammograms play a crucial role in breast health, helping to detect cancer early when it is most treatable. By familiarizing yourself with the mammogram process and what to expect, you can approach your first mammogram with confidence and peace of mind.

For more information or to schedule your mammogram at one of our locations in Williamsville, Cheektowaga, Orchard Park, or Niagara, please visit our contact page. Great Lakes Medical Imaging is here to support you in taking this important step toward maintaining your breast health.

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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