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A mammogram procedure uses low-dose x- rays to view and detect changes in breast tissue.

A woman's breasts are composed of glandular tissue and ducts, fat, connective tissue, and blood vessels.

If you detect a change in your breast tissue, such as a lump or mass, or if you are at least 40 years old, your doctor may schedule you for a mammogram.

Before your mammogram, make sure that your breasts and underarms are clean,

and do not wear deodorant, since it may appear on mammogram x-rays as calcium spots.

A mammogram usually takes about 20 minutes.

A technician will begin by placing one of your breasts between two specialized plates.

The plates will compress to flatten your breast so that the camera can get clear pictures of your breast tissue.

You may feel some discomfort during the compression, but it will only last a few seconds.

This procedure will then be repeated on your other breast.

After your procedure, you may be asked to wait until a radiologist reviews your x-rays, so that more pictures may be taken from different angles,if necessary.

Since a mammogram is a simple outpatient procedure, you will be able to go home immediately following the test.