Diagnostic Mammography

What is Diagnostic Mammography?

What is a Diagnostic Mammogram?

A Mammogram is an X-ray picture of the inner structures of the breast taken to detect breast cancer. A Diagnostic Mammogram may be performed if you or your physician has identified signs or symptoms, including lumps, discharge or other changes to your breasts that need further evaluation. A Diagnostic Mammogram may also be performed if you have a history of breast cancer, prior high-risk biopsy result or for short-term follow-up of a previous finding. 

During a Diagnostic Mammogram, special views of the breast may be obtained, depending on the finding, and an Ultrasound may be performed. Utilizing the latest technology, Fairfax Radiology offers the highest quality digital imaging process, providing you and your physician a convenient and complete breast imaging experience—as well as peace of mind.

You will get the results of the Mammogram before you leave the office.

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Why would my physician recommend a Diagnostic Mammogram?

If you have a current breast symptom, such as a lump or thickening; have had a recent Biopsy; need a short-term follow up from a prior Mammogram or other test; have a personal history of breast cancer; or have had a prior high-risk biopsy result, your physician may refer you for a Diagnostic Mammogram.

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What should I expect during a Diagnostic Mammogram?

If this is your first Mammogram, you may not be sure what to expect. Not to worry, we are here to guide you every step of the way. Do not wear any deodorant, perfume or powder on the day of your Mammogram, as it may show up on the Mammogram image. Before your Mammogram, we will ask you to undress above the waist and will provide a gown that opens in the front. The Technologist will position your breast in the machine in the proper position. At least two views of each breast will be taken: from the top and angled from the side. Depending on the reason for the exam, specialized extra images might be needed. The Radiologist will then evaluate the images, possibly request additional images and do an Ultrasound, if needed.

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Why would I need additional views?

Some Mammogram findings may occasionally require additional views, such as spot compression, magnification or Breast Ultrasound. If this happens to you, there is no reason to be alarmed. This is very common and these additional images can be obtained at the time of the Diagnostic Mammogram so you do not have to make a return trip.

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What is Digital Mammography with CAD?

At Fairfax Radiology, Digital Mammography with Computer Aided Detection (CAD) is our primary imaging technique. Computer Aided Detection is used as an interpretive aid during the image review process. The CAD software analyzes the image and identifies areas of interest that the Radiologist will evaluate before issuing a final report.

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Is a Diagnostic Mammogram covered by insurance?

Most insurance plans cover the cost of Screening Mammograms without copayments or deductibles, but Diagnostic Mammograms may only be covered in part. Be sure to contact your health insurance company for confirmation of the cost and coverage.

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How do I schedule a Diagnostic Mammogram with Fairfax Radiology?

Contact our Scheduling Department for an appointment:

Phone: 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm

Fax: 703.698.0864

Or click here to self schedule your next mammogram

Please have your written physician order and your insurance card in hand when making your appointment.

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When are appointments offered for Diagnostic Mammograms?

For your convenience, appointments are available mornings, afternoons and weekends at the locations listed above. Learn more about each location.

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Can I bring my children to my imaging appointment?

All imaging procedures require that only the patient remain in the room during the exam. Because the patient requires our full attention, we cannot provide supervision for any accompanying children. If you wish to bring your children, you must arrange for another adult to supervise your children during your procedure. Families of Obstetrical patients will be allowed in the room for a limited period of time, but only when an adult accompanies the minor children.

Related Resources

Patient Resources

Breast Pain

Get answers to common questions about Breast Pain.

Learn more information about the life-saving importance of mammography

More information about mammography and breast cancer can be found on the patient resources page.

Mammography for Dense Breasts

Does it matter if you have dense breasts? Download this brochure to find out.

Have questions about your insurance coverage?