Don’t Squish Me | Reston Radiology

LWM_MJ15_web_Page_18A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime is 1 in 8, and early detection is the single most important factor to combating the disease. Mammography is capable of detecting most breast cancer in women with no symptoms, but it also carries a very uncomfortable reputation. To ease the stress and fears associated with it, our experienced technologists have put together a list of what you can expect when you put your health first, and visit us for your annual mammogram.

1. Determine the best time to schedule. We suggest scheduling your mammogram 1-2 weeks after your menstrual cycle as your breasts tend to not be as tender. For women who no longer experience a menstrual cycle, we suggest taking your hormonal cycle into account to best identify when you are the least tender.

2. Schedule your appointment. Loudoun Imaging Center/Ashburn is open Monday through Friday. If Saturday appointments work better for your schedule, our Fair Oaks Imaging Center is also available to complete your exam and has Saturday hours. Appointments can be made by phone or online at

3. Plan to bring prior exams with you. If you have had a prior mammogram with another facility, it is extremely important for you to bring all breast related films/cd’s with you. By having your prior images/films available for our radiologists, it will prevent any delays in your returning results to your physician. If you have any questions, please ask our front desk staff when making your appointment!

4. Day-of preparations. We advise our patients to wear a 2 piece outfit to their appointment. We will provide a cloth robe and will ask you to undress from the waist up. It is important to not apply deodorant, lotion or body powder under your breast or under arm area on the day of your appointment. We provide deodorant for our patients to apply following their exam. In addition, we find arriving well hydrated and with a satisfied stomach helps ease our patients’ nerves.

5. Pinpoint body markings. We will ask you to identify any known moles or scars on your breasts by applying a special sticker. This helps the radiologist properly identify these markings.

6. Communicate with your technologist. Talk to your technologist about any concerns you have regarding the procedure. She understands the key is correct body positioning which results in a better exam with less pain. Your technologist will walk you through various positions to capture the appropriate images.

7. Discomfort. We know this exam has potential to be uncomfortable for you. Breast compression is a key component of the exam, but body positioning is even more important. Our technologists will help ease your mind about the discomfort of the exam. We find many patients are surprised the discomfort is less than anticipated, but we acknowledge that each patient’s pain tolerance varies.

8. Exam Length. For a screening mammogram, the exam length is approximately 15 minutes. For more comprehensive exams, the time may vary. Should you have multiple studies with us that would require you to wait between exams, we provide a relaxed soothing waiting area for our patients.

9. Receiving your results. After your exam is complete, our radiologists will read your images. Reports are completed by the next business day. If additional imaging is needed, we will call you within the next few business days. Otherwise, you will receive your result letter in the mail. We strive to mail result letters as soon as they are made available. Delivery time varies due to the postal service schedule.

10. Thank you for putting your health first. It is time to celebrate you! Allow yourself a sigh of relief that you have put your health first. Your family and friends will appreciate the time you took to care for yourself so they can enjoy YOU for many years to come!

Reston Radiology
Fair Oaks Imaging Center
4001 Fair Ridge Drive Suite 103, Fairfax, Virginia 22033
Loudoun Imaging Center/Ashburn
20905 Professional Plaza Suite 100, Ashburn, Virginia 20147
MRI of Reston
1800 Town Center Drive Suite 115, Reston, Virginia 20190
PET of Reston
1800 Town Center Drive Suite 115, Reston, Virginia 20190

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