At Southmount Medical Imaging (SMI), we have a team dedicated to diagnosing diseases of the breast. Our radiologists are specialized and also practice at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre and the OBSP.


How does mammography work?

Digital direct mammography is performed at SMI. It is a high quality breast cancer screening test. Low dose X-rays are used to create an electronic image of the breast. Digital detectors are part of the mammography unit and the images are stored and transmitted to a computer. The exams are interpreted by a radiologist specialized in breast imaging.

Why is my doctor requesting a mammogram for me?

Mammography is the best breast cancer screening test for most women. Regular breast cancer screening can find breast cancer when it is small. It can also be used to diagnose breast disease when patients have symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge.

What happens when I get a mammogram?

A mammography technologist will position your breast on a platform on the mammography machine. Gentle compression to the breast with a paddle is applied. Compression is important because it evenly spreads out the breast tissue so that all of the breast can be seen, small abnormalities can be detected, lowers the X-ray dose and keeps the breast still to ensure a high quality picture. At least two images of each breast are taken. Each image takes only seconds to acquire, but the entire appointment is approximately half an hour.

If you have an appointment because of symptoms or are recalled to further evaluate a finding from a screening mammogram, additional mammographic views may be obtained. Sometimes an ultrasound is also performed to work up a finding.