Mammography is a diagnostic imaging test used to screen for and diagnose breast cancer in women. One of the common concerns that women may have about mammography is how long the procedure will take. The actual time for a mammography varies depending on a number of factors.
Typically, the actual mammography procedure itself takes around 15-20 minutes. During this time, the technologist will position the breast onto the mammography machine and then compress it between two plates to obtain clear images of the breast tissue. Women may experience some discomfort or mild pain during the compression of the breast, but it typically only lasts for a few seconds. In some cases, additional images or tests may be needed during the mammography. If a woman has dense breast tissue or has had previous breast cancer, additional images or tests may be needed to obtain a more accurate diagnosis. This can add extra time to the mammography procedure.
After the mammography is complete, the images are sent to a radiologist who will review them and make a diagnosis. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on the facility where the mammography was performed. It is important for women to arrive at their appointment on time and be prepared to spend at least an hour at the facility for the entire mammography process. Women should wear comfortable clothing and avoid wearing deodorant or other products that may interfere with the imaging process.
In conclusion, a mammography typically takes around 15-20 minutes to complete, but additional time may be required for additional images or tests. The time it takes for the radiologist to review the images and make a diagnosis can also vary depending on the facility. Women should plan to spend at least an hour at the facility for the entire mammography process and should arrive on time and prepared for the procedure. Mammography is a safe and effective tool for the early detection of breast cancer, and women should make it a priority to schedule regular mammography screenings as recommended by their healthcare provider.