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Digital Mammography

Digital Mammography is performed at Calvert Medical Imaging Center, the imaging partner for the Center for Breast Care. All digital screening mammograms performed at the Center are read by breast imaging specialists from Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Digital mammography is a mammography system in which the x-ray film is replaced by solid-state detectors that convert x-rays into electrical signals, similar to those found in digital cameras. Benefits include optimal image quality, reduced need for retakes and return visits, and instant image sharing and storing. Digital mammograms are beneficial for all women, especially those under age 50 and those with dense breast tissue. From the patient's point of view, having a digital mammogram is essentially the same as having a conventional film screen mammogram.

The procedure will be performed by a specially qualified radiologic technologist who will position your breast in the mammography unit. Your breast will be placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle (often made of clear Plexiglas or other plastic).The technologist will gradually compress your breast. You will be asked to change positions between images. The routine views are a top-to-bottom view and an oblique side view. The process will be repeated for the other breast.

You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.The technologist will walk behind a wall or into the next room to activate the x-ray machine.The examination process should take about 30 minutes.

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