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Mammogram description/experiences, please?

(13 Posts)
FurryDogMother Thu 30-Jun-16 15:03:15

A friend of mine has been referred for her first mammogram and asked me what the experience is like. I couldn't help, because I've never had one (will be making an appointment for one as soon as I'm back in my home country), but if anyone wouldn't mind taking a few minutes to describe the process, I'd be grateful, and will copy your replies to her (she's not on MN, despite me telling her it's brilliant!). Many thanks in advance .

freetrampolineforall Thu 30-Jun-16 15:05:38

It was done with discretion and politeness but it hurts more than anyone told me. Please have it done anyway.

sleepingdragon Thu 30-Jun-16 15:15:06

I had one yesterday after a referral from the GP, not sure how different it is for people referred through the screening programme. It didn't hurt as much as I was expecting, and the discomfort lasted seconds. They took 4 pictures- up/down and sideways of each breast. To take the picture they trap and flatten the breast between 2 bits of plastic- I was told this is to spread the tissue to get a better picture. The machine releases automatically as soon as the picture was taken to it literally lasted seconds each time. They said it is more painful for younger people (who have more solid tissue to enable breastfeeding) than older people.

I had an ultrasound straight afterwards, and was told of I needed a biopsy I could have it done that day if i wanted(and would wait about 2 weeks for the results). Fortunately I did. It need one and I was told everything was ok at the end of the ultrasound. Not sure if this is the same in other hospitals tho.

Everyone was really lovely and gentle. Apart from worrying about the results, the actual procedure was nothing to be afraid of.

I hope your friend is also given an all clear xx

sleepingdragon Thu 30-Jun-16 15:16:15

Sorry for the typos ...fortunately I didn't need one...

chewingawasp Thu 30-Jun-16 15:25:23

I have had to have a few in recent weeks and they're not too bad. I had to laugh when another poster advised me that it was like 'having your tit in a mangle' grin

pippinandtog Thu 30-Jun-16 15:27:24

I've had one routine mammogram so far, at aged 50.
As sleepingdragon says, the breast is pressed flat between two pieces of plastic- I found it extremely uncomfortable, but it was tolerable as it lasted for such a short time, I think seconds.
Had to strip off top half, so best not to wear a dress, and I was only in the room for a few minutes altogether; didn't feel awkward at all as the operator was very nice and matter of fact- probably does this all day.
I remember a work colleague telling us that she had received a letter about going for a mammogram:"I don't do hospitals," she said: guess the rest.
I am now 52, and won't worry about going next time.

SweetChickadee Thu 30-Jun-16 15:29:11

If she's lumpy or has cysts she may find it very painful - I recommend a couple of nurofen before you go if that's the case.

Staff are marvellous. It is a bit mortifying having your boobs manhandled by a stranger, but they do a wonderful job of making you feel at ease, in my experience.

FurryDogMother Thu 30-Jun-16 16:10:53

Many thanks, everyone, have passed on the info to my friend - hopefully she'll feel a little more prepared than she was - I know I do!

DramaAlpaca Thu 30-Jun-16 16:21:16

I've had a couple. I found the staff very good indeed, they do their best to put you at ease and are very matter of fact. The mammogram procedure itself was very uncomfortable indeed, which I wasn't expecting the first time, but the discomfort doesn't last too long. Like a pp said they do two pictures of each breast, and may have to repeat one if it's not clear enough.

CreepingClematis Thu 30-Jun-16 17:30:26

I've had around 4. I'm in my early 60s and have them every 2 years.

I think it's important that your friend goes along with a totally open mind and is not anxious. I don't like the 'scare posts' where people say it's very painful blah blah. Your friend should not worry or even feel the need to 'be prepared' though I can see that someone would be curious if they've not had it done.

As others have said, they take 4 pictures- 2 from top to bottom and 2 from side to side. Your breasts are squashed as flat as possible to get a good image. Yes, it nips, but in all honesty that lasts for less than 10 seconds for each image so it's not a big deal. I'm told by the nurses that women with small breasts (that includes me!) may find it more uncomfortable because you have to get the machinery right into your arm pit to cover as much breast as possible so if you don't have a lot of fat padding, it can dig in. But it's all over in minutes.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 30-Jun-16 17:36:35

i have had one and didn't find it painful at all. uncomfortable and weird but not painful. I am rather blessed in that department.

lljkk Thu 30-Jun-16 18:06:47

I'm glad to hear it was painful. Much better to be prepared for the worst. tbh, everything about thread is making me extremely happy in decision to avoid screening for now.

farageisacunt Thu 30-Jun-16 20:46:37

I had my first recently at 48.

Was worried that it would be painful but it was fine. Might have been worse if it had been the week before my period though as I get v tender breasts then.

All very professional -in and out pretty quickly.

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