What Is A Diagnostic Mammogram?

A Diagnostic Mammogram is a special X-ray that uses radiation to take images of breast and axillary tissues in order to identify potential breast tissue abnormalities.  Goulburn Valley Imaging Group uses state-of-the-art digital Mammography equipment to achieve excellent image quality.

Booking An Appointment For A Diagnostic Mammogram

GVIG has two site performing Diagnostic Mammography services: 104 Nixon Street Shepparton and Echuca Radiology.
To be able to have a Diagnostic Mammogram you will first need to obtain a referral from your doctor.

If you have a family history of breast cancer, it is recommended that you have regular Mammograms. You should speak to your doctor about this.
Once you have obtained your referral, you will need to contact our reception staff to make an appointment. In addition to your Diagnostic Mammogram you will also be booked in for an Ultrasound of your breasts following your Mammogram. This is normal procedure for a Diagnostic Mammogram and provides more information for your doctor.

If you are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, please tell your doctor and our staff, before your mammogram, as a mammogram may affect an unborn baby.

Additionally, if you have any breast implants or have had surgery on your breasts, please advise our staff when booking your appointment as we may need to allow additional time.

It is important that you bring your Medicare card and any current health care / pension cards to your appointment.

Preparation For My Diagnostic Mammogram

Generally, you are not required to make any special preparations for a Diagnostic Mammogram.

We recommend that you wear separate tops and bottoms on the day of your Mammogram as you will be required to remove your clothing from the waist up. You will be provided with a gown to wear.
You will usually be asked to remove any metal objects such as jewellery, as these can show up on the Mammogram and therefore affect the quality of the image.

What Happens During My Diagnostic Mammogram?

During your Mammogram, you will usually be asked to stand in front of the Mammography machine. The Mammographer will position your breast on the machine. Once in the correct position, the breast will be gently compressed between two flat plates and the Mammographer will take digital images of your breast. The process will then be repeated for your other breast. There may be some discomfort whilst the breast is compressed but it is only for a short time.
Any movement during a Mammogram may blur the image, much like a photograph appears blurred when someone moves. Should this happen, the image may need to be repeated.

Following your Mammogram, the Mammographer will check the images taken for clarity and show them to the Radiologist before escorting you to a private waiting area to await your Ultrasound.

How Long Will My Diagnostic Mammogram Take?

We allow 30 minutes for a Diagnostic Mammogram to allow plenty of time for you to undress and prepare for your examination. Generally your Diagnostic Mammogram will only take a few minutes per breast, however you will need to wait while the images are reviewed by the Mammographer and the Radiologist to see if any more images are needed.

You will also need to allow an additional 30 minutes for your Breast Ultrasound.
If you have breast implants, you may need to allow additional time for your examinations.

Are There Any After Effects Or Risks With A Diagnostic Mammogram?

There are no after effects from a Diagnostic Mammogram and you will be able to resume your normal activities immediately.

During your Mammogram, you will be exposed to a low level of radiation. The radiation dose is minimised by firmly compressing the breast for a few seconds. Experts feel that the risk to your health from this is very small, as the low risk is far outweighed by the benefits from your examination.

If you are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, please tell your doctor and our staff, before your mammogram, as a mammogram may affect an unborn baby.

What Are The Benefits Of A Diagnostic Mammogram?

Diagnostic Mammograms, together with breast Ultrasounds are an effective and quick way of evaluating the internal tissue of your breasts and identifying early indications of breast cancer.

This allows most cancers to be found at an early stage when there is a better chance of successful treatment and recovery. Mammograms do not prevent breast cancer, however, they can find most cancers, but like many other medical tests, it is not 100% accurate.

Who Performs The Mammogram?

The person who operates the mammogram and digital radiography equipment to take your images is a qualified Radiographer who has had specialist training in mammography. They have completed tertiary qualifications and are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Additionally, they have been licensed by the Department of Health, Victoria to use radiation.

Who Completes The Mammogram Report?

Once all your images have been taken, they will be viewed by the Radiologist (a medical doctor with specialist credentialing and qualifications from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists – RANZCR).

The Radiologist will then prepare a written report for your doctor. This report should be received within one working day. If you have a doctor’s appointment already scheduled please let our staff know so that we can ensure your report is sent to your doctor prior to your appointment.

If you are seeing a specialist and would like a copy to be sent to them, please advise our reception staff before your examination has been completed.

Breast Information

It is important for all women to get to know their breasts and what is ‘normal’ for them.

If at any time you notice an unusual change in your breasts such as a lump, dimpling of skin, pain or discharge from your nipple or nipple retraction, we strongly advise you to contact your doctor.

Breastsceen Victoria

Goulburn Valley Imaging Group is affiliated with BreastScreen Victoria. BreastScreening is available to all women between the ages of 40 – 70 years, who are not symptomatic, as a free service.

All bookings for BreastScreen Victoria will need to be made through their main office by calling 13 20 50. When making your booking, you can request, or will be offered your BreastScreen Mammogram appointment at either Goulburn Valley Imaging in Shepparton or Echuca Radiology in Echuca.

For any information regarding results or appointments you will need to contact BreastScreen Victoria.

Further Questions

Should you have any further questions please feel free to contact us and ask to speak to a Mammographer or the Practice Manager.