Our practice has a very busy mammography department. We have a state of the art mammography machine with tomographic capabilities. Our equipment will provide you with a high quality mammogram (x-ray image of a breast). We also have a high resolution breast ultrasound machine. The ultrasound machine is a dedicated breast ultrasound machine with automated breast ultrasound capabilities, one of the first 3 in South Africa. Ultrasound guided biopsies as well as stereotactic placement of markers in the breast in suspicious lesions are available.
Since mammography is a screening examination, you do not need a referral from your physician, but a referral letter may be useful should their be areas of concern in your breast tissue detected by your doctor. You will need to make an appointment to have the examination done to reduce waiting time and prevent disappointment. Please bring along your medical aid card and ID.
We generally use the American Cancer Association’s guidelines to screen for breast cancer. The recommendation is to screen every 12 to 18 months from 40 years of age, based on extensive research. If you have a positive family history of breast carcinoma (direct line, such as mother, grandmother, daughter, son ext.) it is recommended that screening is started 10 years before the age at which the youngest family member had breast carcinoma, but never before the age of 28. This is due to the fact that x-rays are used to produce the mammogram.
On your arrival you will be asked to fill in a patient information form if it is your first visit to our practice. You can download the form from our website to fill in at home. The information can otherwise be completed 10 minutes before the mammogram. The receptionist will get medical aid approval if applicable.
Next you will be taken into the Mammography section of the practice. You will be asked to remove your shirt and bra and put on a gown. The radiographer will take the mammogram and send the images through to the Radiologist who will interpret them and do comparisons to previous available images. In the meantime you will be asked to wait in the ultrasound room. Once the Radiologist reviewed the images he/she will come to do the ultrasound. The policy of the practice is to do ultrasound on all the mammography patients since some lesions are better depicted on mammogram and others on ultrasound. We view it as one examination and it will only be charged as a mammogram.
If a suspicious lesion is present or you present with a palpable mass or other symptoms, it is no longer a screening mammogram, but a diagnostic mammogram. A biopsy of the lesion will be done or a marker may be placed to facilitate surgical removal of the lesion. Further management will depend on the histology of the lesion.
World class service in a safe and secure environment
We strive to give world class service in a safe and secure environment. Feel free to request a specific Radiologist if it will make the experience more tolerable. If you have concerns about radiation, see our section on frequently asked questions about radiation.