Mammogram | Everything You Need to Know About Mammograms

How long does a mammogram take?

How long does a mammogram take?

The procedure takes about 10 to 20 minutes for a screening mammogram. A diagnostic mammogram may take a few minutes more because it uses more angles.

Do mammograms hurt?

During a mammogram, the breast must be compressed between two curved acrylic plates. This is done to reduce the thickness of the breast tissue that the xrays will pass through as much as possible, and to prevent any unnecessary movement and thus any motion blur, allowing for a clearer image. This is necessary even in male subjects, who use smaller plates.

Some women do experience some discomfort or pain because of this, but most tolerated it well. The level of discomfort varies from person to person, and depends on factors such as the timing of the procedure in relation to the menstrual cycle. Taking this particular factor into account, the most appropriate time to schedule a mammogram is the week following the end of the period. Other factors affecting the level of discomfort include the size of the breast, the experience level of the technician, and the level of anxiety of the patient. A minority of patients may experience some soreness after the procedure but most don’t. If you are worried about this aspect, taking an over the counter painkiller before getting the mammogram may help.