The breast imaging service forms part of an overall assessment of the breast which also includes clinical breast examination and interventional (biopsy) procedures. The department is staffed by two Consultant Radiologists and a team of five mammographers.
Referrals are generally arranged via the multi-disciplinary specialist breast team. Mammographers are specially trained radiographers who undertake imaging of the breast using mammography (breast x-rays). All staff are highly experienced in taking mammograms, and can choose to complete highly specialised training to perform additional duties such as biopsies, ultrasound and interpretation of x-rays and scans. They work under the direction of the Consultant Radiologist – a doctor who has undertaken extensive specialist breast training and who provides leadership and demonstrates excellence in clinical practice.
The Fife team works in partnership with the wider specialist breast team including breast surgeons, clinical and medical oncologists, clinical nurse specialists and a range of administrative and clinical support staff to provide a comprehensive imaging service for patients with suspected or confirmed breast disease.
Mammography is performed by gently compressing the breast between two Perspex plates and obtaining an image. Compression can cause slight discomfort but lasts for only a few seconds and the mammographer will be sensitive to your needs whilst performing the procedure.
Typically radiation from a mammogram is equivalent to that received from background radiation when taking a 2-3 long haul flights. It is slightly higher than the dose received from having a chest x-ray.
Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves which move through the breast to provide a gray-scale image of the breast on a monitor. During a scan you will be asked to lie on an examination couch with the affected side uncovered. There is no radiation dose accumulated during an ultrasound examination.
It is worthwhile considering your choice of clothing on the day of your breast appointment. Women might prefer to wear separates you will be asked to undress.
Queen Margaret Hospital
8.30 – 4.30 Monday to Friday