Mammogram and Biopsy Information
The Smith Breast Care Center features an all-digital mammogram facility. Breast imaging studies are done by specially trained radiology technicians.
A physician’s order is required to schedule all mammograms.
To schedule mammograms, please call: 713-798-2180
Types of Breast Imaging
- Screening mammogram – annual study for patients with no signs or symptoms of breast problems and no prior personal diagnosis of breast cancer. With a screening mammogram, two views (pictures) are taken of each breast. Results are usually available in several days and a letter is subsequently sent informing the patient of the test results.
- Diagnostic mammogram – study to diagnose patients with specific symptoms. This type of mammogram is indicated for patients with new breast lumps, nipple discharge, implants, or a history of breast cancer. Diagnostic mammograms will include additional views of each breast and may include magnification views of areas of concern. Results are usually available at the time the study is done and a letter is subsequently sent informing the patient of the test results.
- Ultrasound – study used to determine if breast lumps are fluid filled or solid. Ultrasounds are also used to further evaluate lumps that can be felt. This study is often combined with a diagnostic mammogram to look at abnormal areas.
Following mammogram and ultrasound, the radiologist may suggest a biopsy. These biopsy procedures are scheduled by the nurses/technologists working in radiology and are often scheduled the same day. The nurses/technologists in radiology will review all pre-procedure instructions for patients. All biopsies are sent to the lab for review. Results are usually available in 1-3 working days.
There are two types of biopsies that are done in radiology.
- Core biopsy under ultrasound guidance – recommended for patients with breast lumps that are identified on ultrasound or mammogram. The technician and radiologist identify the abnormal area, inject numbing medication, and insert a needle to take several samples of the abnormal area.
- Core biopsy under stereotactic guidance – recommended when there are clusters of microcalcifications (may indicate early breast problem) or other abnormal areas identified on mammogram. Patients lie on their stomach for this procedure and the breast tissue is directed through an opening in the table. Using computerized assistance, the abnormal area is identified, numbing medicine is injected, and a needle is inserted to take several samples of the abnormal area.