Medical Imaging Northwest | Digital Diagnostic Mammography

Digital Diagnostic Mammography

When a mammogram is scheduled to evaluate a breast complaint, an abnormality is detected on a physical exam or in a screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram may be ordered. A diagnostic mammogram is ordered to pinpoint the exact size and location of breast abnormality and to image the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes. Biopsy is the only definitive way to determine whether a woman has breast cancer. In many cases the radiologist may recommend that the woman return at a later date for a follow-up mammogram.

What is Digital Diagnostic Mammography?

While a screening mammogram is encouraged each year for women who do not have significant breast symptoms, your doctor may order a diagnostic mammogram if you are experiencing a worrisome lump, changes in the breast skin, pain, nipple discharge, or if you have a personal history of breast cancer. Diagnostic mammography may also be performed if your screening mammogram demonstrates a possible abnormality. The type and number of mammographic views taken will be customized to your situation.

What Should I expect?


Please allow up to 25-30 minutes for your exam. You are asked to not wear body powder or deodorant. Two-piece clothing is more convenient. To reduce tenderness, have a caffeine-free diet for several days before the exam. During your diagnostic mammogram appointment, the radiologist may decide it is necessary to perform a breast ultrasound in order to assess the characteristics of a lump.

When will I receive results?


Results are usually available three business days after the procedure. Please contact your referring physician if you have specific questions at that time. Typically, a report will be sent to you describing the results of your mammogram, or indicating whether there is a need for you to return for additional breast imaging.

Which locations offer Breast Ultrasound?

  • Puyallup Imaging Center
  • Sunrise Image Center
  • Bonney Lake Imaging Center

Copyright © 2008 Medical Imaging Northwest