Diagnostic MammographySimilar in technique to screening mammography, diagnostic mammography is used to diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as nipple discharge, pain, or a lump. Also, a diagnostic mammogram is performed if the radiologist asks you to return shortly after a screening mammogram for additional images of one or both of your breasts. These additional mammogram images may employ a special magnification paddle, a small spot compression paddle, or different breast positioning techniques.
Sometimes, the radiologist will want an ultrasound of the breast. This provides supplemental information, but is not a substitute for mammography. Breast ultrasound is usually painless and involves the technologist running a probe over the skin of the breast, with the aid of warm gel, in order to create an image of the breast tissue.
The radiologist will look at the images before you leave the department and you will be notified whether to return for a screening mammogram, return for a short-term follow up exam, or be counseled for a breast biopsy.
For more information on the procedure visit radiologyinfo.org (Diagnostic Mammography).