Diagnostic Mammogram

If you are having a diagnostic mammogram, you might feel a little apprehensive. At the St. Elizabeth Breast Center, we understand your concerns and we want you to feel calm, supported and strong.

A diagnostic mammogram is typically performed for two reasons:

  • You are experiencing a symptom that requires a closer look – breast pain, changes in your breast, focal pain, nipple discharge, dimpling of the breast skin or anything new that you or your doctor feel during your clinical breast exam.
  • The radiologist spots an area of concern during your routine screening mammogram.

The same mammography equipment is used in screening and diagnostic mammograms at the St. Elizabeth Breast Center. However, for diagnostic mammograms our technologists use specialized views to get a different, more focused look at a specific area in the breast.

Diagnostic Mammogram: What to Expect

When you call to schedule your diagnostic mammogram, the St. Elizabeth Breast Center will let you know what to expect during your appointment. Our team recommends you set aside a few hours for your diagnostic mammogram.

Once you arrive at your appointment, you will change into a gown and a technologist will perform the first round of diagnostic imaging. The radiologist will read the results right away while you are seated in a comfortable waiting area. The radiologist frequently requests additional views and/or magnified pictures of a certain area of the breast for diagnostic mammogram patients, so it’s best to be prepared for multiple rounds of imaging. Radiologists can also order a diagnostic ultrasound for a specific area of the breast.

A Nurse Walks with a Patient

We’re here to help

The entire St. Elizabeth Breast Center team is here for you during your diagnostic mammogram. We make sure to keep you informed and to get you in as quickly as possible for answers. For more information, please call (859) 655-8777. To schedule an appointment, please call (859) 655-7400.

At the St. Elizabeth Breast Center, we know you want answers right away. All of our diagnostic mammogram patients meet with the radiologist the same day to discuss their results. Next steps can include:

  • Everything looks good – you can return in a year for a follow-up mammogram.
  • Everything looks ok but we’d like to recheck you in six months.
  • Abnormal diagnostic mammogram – we see something we’d like to look at more closely and recommend a biopsy.


If a biopsy is required, your nurse navigator is on hand to educate you about next steps and to coordinate scheduling the biopsy. We perform both ultrasound-guided biopsies and x-ray-guided biopsies at the St. Elizabeth Breast Center.

Biopsy results are typically available within two business days. You will come back in to meet with your nurse navigator and radiologist to discuss the results and any necessary next steps, such as meeting with a breast surgeon.

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Your well-being is our priority, and we’re excited to be part of your health journey. To schedule an appointment, please visit MyChart

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