Screening digital mammography appointments are available at our Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley offices and typically last about 40 minutes, including registration and time in your changing room before and after your exam.
A female radiologic technologist, specially trained in breast care, takes your digital mammography images. Your digital mammograms are read by diagnostic radiologists on large computer screens, which allow them to zoom in for a closer look without losing image clarity.
What to Expect
Our all-female staff is dedicated to your breast health and making your annual mammogram as comfortable and convenient as possible.
Tip: taking ibuprofen an hour before your appointment can help with preventing sensitivity or discomfort during your exam.
When you arrive, our volunteer will greet you and escort you to one of our registration specialists.
For registration, you will be asked to provide identification and your insurance card. This process typically takes no more than 10 minutes.
Changing Area and Lockers
After your registration is completed, a volunteer will escort you to our changing area. You will be provided a private changing room and gown, and be asked to remove all clothing from the waist up. There are towelettes in the room for wiping away any deodorant residue, which can interfere with images. Please lock your clothes, purse and any other personal belongings and place the locker key on your wrist with the bracelet provided.
Once you have changed, you may take a seat in the private waiting area just outside the changing rooms. Your breast imaging technologist will come to the waiting area and call you by first name to take you to the imaging room.
During the Exam
Your breast imaging technologist will take a minimum of four images of your breasts, and possibly extras if required for obtaining the best views.
For each image, your technologist will help position your breast on the lower plate of the digital mammography machine, instructing you on where to place your hands and how to hold your shoulders during the imaging.
She will lower the top plate to compress your breast for imaging. It's ok to talk with your technician if you feel discomfort or too much pressure from the compression. She can work with you to help make the imaging as comfortable as possible. She will step away from you to the digital imaging work station, which is located just a few steps away from you in the imaging room.
You will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds while the machine takes the digital image. Immediately after the image is taken, the top plate and compression automatically releases.
Actual compression for each image takes less than a minute, and your total time in the exam room is typically less then 20 minutes.
After the Exam
Your breast imaging technologist will take you back to the changing area so you can change from your gown to your clothes and collect your belongings. You do not need to stop at registration to leave your appointment.
Getting Your Results
If no follow up is needed, you will receive a letter by mail in approximately five business days. If any follow up is needed after your screening mammography, you will hear from us in three business days to discuss scheduling another appointment.
If you have any special concerns or anxiety about waiting for your results, please alert your technologist. We can typically work with you to communicate your results more quickly.