Digital Mammography Facts

Do I need an order for a mammogram?

Screening mammograms can be scheduled without a physician order.
Diagnostic mammograms require a written order.

Does digital mammography still compress my breasts?

Yes it does – the patient experience really doesn’t change – except that the images process more quickly and you are less likely to be called back for additional imaging.

Do I need to prepare differently for digital mammography?

No, it’s the same – no deodorant and decrease caffeine if breasts are sensitive.

Can the radiologist compare my digital images to my old film images?

Absolutely! We digitize your prior film studies so that all images are being interpreted electronically.

Will insurance cover digital mammography?

There is no difference in insurance coverage between film screen and digital mammography.

If I need surgery, can I take my images with me?

Yes. All digital images are stored in a format called DICOM. We can save your images on a CD and you can take them with you to another facility or if necessary, we can print the images onto film.

If I’ve had a mammogram at another facility, can I have it sent back to WCH?

Yes, the process is the same as when we send images out. The outside facility can save your images onto a CD and we can import those images into our system. The radiologist will be able to compare your new mammogram to the prior study you provided.

Who interprets my digital mammogram?

A radiologist with specialized training in mammography will be interpreting your mammogram. The majority of the time will be Dr. Patricia Whitworth with Clinical Radiology. She has years of experience interpreting digital mammography and really has a passion for it.

How and when will I get my results?

If you are having a screening mammography, you will get your results either from your physician or via a letter that we send to you with your results explained in common language. The letter goes out to you within a day or two of your examination.

If you are having a diagnostic mammogram, we will be scheduling you so that Dr. Whitworth or her colleague will be able to interpret your mammogram before you leave us. In many cases, you will be able to discuss your results on the phone with her before you leave us. Additionally, you will receive the letter from us just as you would with a screening mammogram.