A ductogram is a test that makes pictures of the breast ducts. It is done with a mammogram and special contrast dye.
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A ductogram is done to look for the cause of abnormal discharge from the nipples.
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will go over some problems, like:
Talk to your doctor about these risks before the procedure.
Before the ductogram, your doctor may:
In the days leading up to the procedure, your doctor will ask you to avoid squeezing any discharge from the nipple. It’s important that there is discharge during the ductogram.
On the day of the ductogram:
There are different techniques to do this procedure. You will be asked to lie on your back. The nipple will be cleaned. Then the breast will be squeezed to release discharge. This will help your doctor find out which duct the discharge is coming from. A small, flexible tube will be inserted into the milk duct. The contrast dye will be injected through this tube. X-rays will be taken of the breast after the contrast dye is injected. Lastly, the tube will be removed and a small bandage or pad will be placed over the nipple.
You may feel some discomfort.
You will be able to go home after the ductogram. You can go back to your normal activities. Leave the bandage or pad on since the dye may leak out of the duct.
Talk to your doctor about the results. Your doctor may ask for other tests or procedures if there are any abnormal areas.
Call your doctor if you:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Office on Women’s Health—US Department of Health and Human Services
Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America
Women's Health Matters
Breast cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer.html. Accessed July 24, 2018.
Breast ductography. Radiopaedia website. Available at: http://radiopaedia.org/articles/breast-ductography-1. Accessed July 24, 2018.
Ductography: How to and what if? RadioGraphics. 2001;133-150.
Galoctography (ductography). Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=galactogram. Updated February 25, 2018. Accessed July 24, 2018.
Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kathleen A. Barry, MD Last Updated: 7/24/2018