Tests and Procedures

3D mammogram

What you can expect

At the testing facility, you're given a gown and asked to remove any necklaces and clothing from the waist up. To make this easier, wear a two-piece outfit that day.

For the procedure itself, you stand in front of an X-ray machine equipped to perform 3D mammograms. The technician places one of your breasts on a platform and raises or lowers the platform to match your height. The technician helps you position your head, arms and torso to allow an unobstructed view of your breast.

Your breast is gradually pressed against the platform by a clear plastic plate. Pressure is applied for a few seconds to spread out the breast tissue. The pressure isn't harmful, but you may find it uncomfortable or even painful. If you have too much discomfort, tell the technician.

Next, the 3D mammogram machine will move above you from one side to the other as it collects images. You may be asked to stand still and hold your breath for a few seconds to minimize movement.

The pressure on your breast is released, and the machine is repositioned to take an image of your breast from the side. Your breast is positioned against the platform again, and the clear plastic plate is used to apply pressure. The camera takes images again. The process is then repeated on the other breast.