Mammography: What to Expect

Mammography is a type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the diagnosis of breast diseases in women. The American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging both recommend mammography as a means of saving lives. A study in the journal Cancer also found that regular mammography screening can save lives.

Your physician has recommended that you have a screening or diagnostic mammogram. At the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center at Cedars-Sinai we have a team of experienced imaging physicians who are mammography specialists. The purpose of this exam is to evaluate your breast tissue for any abnormalities including cysts, other benign abnormalities or a malignancy. 

To schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.

Before Arriving for Your Exam

  • You can print and fill out the Breast Imaging Questionnaire, Outside Mammogram Tracking Form and the Patient Advisory for Mammography for Patients with Implants on our Pre-Registration Questionnaire page before arriving to speed the registration process.
  • It is suggested that you do not schedule your mammogram for the week before your menstrual cycle (period) as your breasts are usually very sensitive at this time.
  • It is important that you do not wear deodorant, perfume or talcum powder on the day of your exam.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
  • If you have had a previous mammogram, at a different imaging center, please bring your previous films and reports.
  • Although we do not anticipate any delay in your scheduled appointment, we recommend that you bring a book, magazine or music player to help pass the time, if you do have to wait.

After Arriving

  • You will change into a patient gown, removing your clothes from the waist up. We have robes available for your comfort while you wait.

During Your Exam

  • If you are having a screening mammogram, pictures of each breast will be taken. If you are receiving a diagnostic mammogram, you may have one or both breasts scanned.
  • Pictures are taken while applying pressure to your breast. Although the pressure may be uncomfortable, it is essential to obtain quality pictures.
  • Your exam will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Upon completion of your exam, you will be free to go home.

After Your Exam

  • There are no restrictions placed on you after this procedure. You may eat or drive as normal.
  • An imaging physician will review your study and the results will be sent to your doctor with a follow-up letter to you.
  • An imaging physician may call you back for additional pictures. This is to ensure that any possible abnormality in your breast can be thoroughly evaluated.
  • In conjunction with the additional imaging, an ultrasound may also be used to evaluate an abnormality.
  • If the imaging physician determines that you have dense breasts, you will also receive a letter informing you. Click here for information about dense breasts.

Parking Information

We offer mammography at several sites to better serve our patients. Please make sure that you know where your mammogram will take place. If you are uncertain, please call 310-423-8000.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.