Digital Mammography

If your healthcare provider refers you for a mammogram, call 401-348-3292 to schedule your appointment. Our Diagnostic Imaging Center can usually schedule an appointment within a few days.

If you did not have your last mammogram at a Westerly Hospital facility, please request a transfer of these records to the Westerly Hospital. It is effective to compare results from prior exams to identify any changes in your breast tissue. To access a medical records release form click here.

Be sure to get regular, recommended screenings.

To see locations/hours for mammography services, click here.

Here’s what you need to know about mammograms, how to prepare for your mammogram, what to expect during your mammogram, getting your results and diagnostic mammography.

Mammograms

  • Screen for breast abnormalities using low-dose X-rays
  • Detect changes and look for breast cancer too small to be felt in women who have no breast symptoms (lumps, pain, nipple discharge)
  • Utilize digital technology to provide clear images for easier detection
  • Performed by certified mammography technologists

Preparing for your mammogram

  • Do not schedule your mammogram the week before your period; breasts may be tender.
  • Tell the scheduler if you have breast implants; mammogram may take longer.
  • Do not wear deodorant, antiperspirant, lotion, or powder under your arms the day of the mammogram.
  • Tell your technologist if you have breast symptoms (soreness, discharge, etc.) or if you think you may be pregnant.

What to expect during your screening mammogram

  • You will undress from above the waist to have a mammogram. We will provide you with a gown to wear.
  • A technologist will escort you to our mammography room and position your breasts for the mammogram. Only the technologist and you will be in the exam room.
  • You may feel some discomfort when your breasts are compressed; if you are in pain, tell the technologist so she can try to make the compression more comfortable for you.
  • The whole procedure lasts about 20 minutes; the actual breast compression lasts only a few seconds.

Your results
A radiologist will dictate a formal report to your ordering physician, which includes a comparison of your prior mammography exams.

Digital mammography is a sensitive test; some patients may be contacted by the Radiology Department to return for additional views or a breast ultrasound. This does not mean there is a serious problem, but that the Radiologist requires additional images to clarify or better define a benign (normal) process.

The Mammography Quality Standards Act requires that Diagnostic Imaging Centers performing mammograms send a letter to each mammography patient within 30 days. This letter states whether the findings were normal or if there is a need for additional views. In most cases, you will be contacted within 5 days if there is a problem with the mammogram or if you require additional views.

Diagnostic Mammography
If your physician refers you for a diagnostic mammogram an appointment will be arranged as soon as possible. Prepare for your diagnostic mammogram as you would for a screening mammogram. A technologist will take multiple images of the breast area in question and the Radiologist will review and describe any abnormalities on the radiology report that will be sent to your provider.

Based in the findings, your physician may advise you to either return to periodic screenigs or will suggest further diagnostic testing, such as breast MRI, breast ultrasound or breast biopsy.

Learn about Diagnostic Imaging Services and Locations.