Mammograms are an important tool in the early detection of breast cancer. If you’re planning to get a mammogram soon, it pays to learn what to expect and prepare in advance. One of the most common questions most people ask is how long it will take to get the mammogram results.
How long the results take depends on the breast center, the type of mammogram, and the quality of images taken. That’s why we recommend breast centers use MagView’s mammography software systems & Solutions to improve general productivity and streamline workflow.
How Long Does it Take to Get Mammogram Results?
The time it takes to get the results of a mammogram can vary. Typically, it takes a few days to a week to get the results. However, in some cases, it can take longer if the radiologist needs to review the images more thoroughly or if additional imaging is needed. It’s best to contact the facility where the mammogram was performed for specific information about the turnaround time for your results.
How will I receive my mammogram results?
The MQSA (Mammography Quality Standards Act) requires that the facility performing the mammogram must send you a letter (or e-letter via an online portal) with your results. Some imaging facilities also make phone calls to patients with their results. In addition, your referring physician may also contact you about your results. Don’t be afraid to ask your imaging center staff when and how you can expect to receive your results.
For screening mammograms, some facilities may deliver results on the same day.
Why does it take 2 weeks to get mammogram results?
A typical mammogram takes about 30 minutes. However, this duration can easily change due to various reasons, including:
- How long you’re likely to wait in the waiting room
- How long you take to fill out the pre-exam questionnaire
- How long it takes you to change into a gown and dress up once done
- How long it takes the technician to position your breast correctly
The mammogram itself takes 10 minutes. Since the breasts need to be compressed to obtain a clear image, which can cause some discomfort, choose a day when your breasts are not tender. This is two weeks before or one week after your menstrual period.
What Happens During a Mammogram
After checking in at the imaging facility, you will sit in the waiting room until you’re called for your mammogram. You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire as you wait. The questionnaire usually asks questions like:
- Your medical history
- The medications you’re currently taking
- Personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer
- Any concerns or issues with your breast
A technician will then call you to a room with a mammogram machine. If they confirm you’re not pregnant, they will ask you to undress from head to waist and put on a cotton gown. You should let the opening be in the front. Make sure to remove any necklaces and other jewelry if you’re wearing them.
You should also not wear deodorants as they can interfere with the quality of images. If you wear them, you’ll be asked to wipe them off. Once ready, the technician will position your breast on a flat plate and then lower another side plate to compress and spread out your breast tissue. They will then reposition the breast to take images from different angles until they’re done.
Please visit our website today for more information about mammograms and other risk assessment programs.