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Feb 08, 2019

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Mammography: Why Do I Need to Bring My Old Images to a New Clinic?

As a clinic that provides mammograms, we often have patients transfer to us for their annual screening mammograms or diagnostic mammograms for various reasons.  Before we can perform your first mammogram with our clinic, we need to acquire your previous studies from your previous clinics.  Yes, ALL YOUR PREVIOUS MAMMOGRAMS from ALL PREVIOUS CLINICS.  Here’s why…

  • the most important part of mammography is looking for change in breast tissue from year to year, especially if the patient has a new concern.  For example, the radiologist can see if maybe a weight change is causing the patient to feel a more prominent lump but in acutality it has always been there and stable.  The radiologist can see if the make up of the breast has changed to make what the patient is feeling more prominent.
  • to see if something was already followed (or noted) by a previous Radiologist and deemed normal breast tissue.  No need for a scare if we know it’s always been there!
  • in order to see if the patient has had surgery, biopsy or radiation to the breast the radiologist needs to see previous images.
  • having access to previous images reduces the chance for callbacks or going to biopsy for something that has been there and stable.
  • the American Cancer Society recommends making every effort to obtain previous images before an exam is read by a radiologist.  The ACS said so!
  • it is the protocol of the radiologist to have previous images before reading new images.
  • when performing a diagnostic mammogram, the radiologist has to see if more views are needed to show an area of change, so previous images are needed.
  • when performing a diagnostic mammogram, the radiologist decides if an ultrasound is needed to show an area of change, so previous images are needed.
  • not all diagnostic exams are cookie cutter, diagnostic mammograms are tailored to the concern and the patient, previous images are needed.
  • the radiologist needs previous images because that is what meets national standards of care and it is the best thing to do for the patient!
  • for Corridor Radiology diagnostic mammograms, the radiologists give the patient their results immediately.  This is a high anxiety exam and the radiologists would not be able to give same day results if not for having all previous images.
  • screening mammography is a VERY different exam than a diagnostic mammogram from a technical point of view.  Diagnostic mammograms require different views, different schedule, and possibly an ultrasound.  A screening mammogram can be done without previous and read at a later date after we get the previous, where as diagnostic will be read the same day and as the exam unfolds, thus meaning all previous exams have to be in our possession before we even start the exam

At Corridor Radiology we do what is best for the patient.  We treat every patient as if they are our mothers, sisters, and aunts.  Our patients are so important to us.  Mammograms bring high anxiety to so many patients which is why we do everything in our power to make the process go smoothly.  If you have had mammograms at other facilities all we need is your permission and the names of the facilities and we will make sure to gather all previous exams for you!  It’s pretty simple, if we have your previous images, we can get you results quicker which means less anxiety for you!



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