What is Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM) ?

Full Field Digital Mammography is a special form of imaging system that uses a xray s to examine breasts. It helps in the early diagnosis hence guides treatment of breast diseases.
Two latest advances in FFDM available in our institution are digital mammography and computer-aided detection.
Full-field digital mammography (FFDM), is an equipment which uses xrays obtain images of the breast that can be produced on a computer screen or on special film similar to conventional mammograms. This helps in future references as the images are stored electronically. Additional softwares are available through which the doctor can zoom the image, have a closer look and hence arrive at a precise diagnosis.

What are uses of the procedure ?

It is the best screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women who have no symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a swelling, pain or nipple discharge.

Screening Mammography

Women at the beginning of 40 are adviced to annual mammograms that lead to early detection of breast cancers, when they have a high cure rate and breast-conservation therapies are available.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) adds that women who have had breast cancer and those who are at increased risk due to a family history of breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and about the frequency of screening.

Preparing for a mammogram?

Before a mammogram you will be requested to fill up a form in a questionnaire pattern to obtain details about your symptoms, family history of cancer etc., which will aid the doctor in perfect detection of the problem.
Do not schedule your mammogram a week before your periods as your breasts are usually tender during this time.
XRAY mammography is to avoided in women less than 30 years although sonomammography (USG) can be done.
Avoid mammograms at the time of pregnancy.

Procedure :

During mammography, a specially qualified radiologic technologist will position your breast in the mammography unit. Your breast will be placed on a special platform and compressed with a paddle. Breast compression is necessary in order to:

  Spreads out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized.

  Any small abnormalities are less likely to be obscured by overlying breast tissue.

  Allow the use of a minimal x-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is being imaged.

  Holds the breast steadily in order to minimize blurring of the image caused by motion.

  Reduces x-ray scatter and increases sharpness of picture.

Our equipment cause less radiation and minimal pain.
The radiographer changes your position between images. Two views are taken for each breast amouting to a total of four images . The technologist walks behind a glass barrier to operate the machine.
When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.The examination process should take about 30 minutes.