Preparing for Your Visit


Learn how to prepare for your screening mammogram appointment at VPFW.

What to expect during your first mammogram

Mammograms are low dose x-rays of the breasts that have been used for screening since the 1980s. The breast is briefly compressed in two different positions and x-rays are taken. The total exam takes about 10 minutes. Sometimes extra images are taken to include all of the breast tissue. The compression is used to spread out the breast tissue and reduce the amount of radiation needed to produce excellent images. It also reduces any chance for motion on the image.

If the patient chooses to have a 3D mammogram, the unit will sweep over the breast and take a series of pictures. A radiologist (doctor who specializes in reading xrays) will read the mammogram, and you will receive your results 7-10 business days, provided we have your prior mammograms at the time of your scan.

How to prepare for the mammogram

  • Do not wear deodorant
  • Wear a two-piece outfit
  • Schedule your mammogram within one week after your menstrual cycle or when breasts are least sensitive
  • If possible, obtain your prior mammograms (This will speed the process for radiologist reading)

Check with your health insurance

Most insurance carriers now fully cover both 2-D and 3-D mammograms. Please check with your insurance provider prior to your visit to make sure you know what your coverage includes.

To schedule your annual screening mammogram, give us a call at 804-897-2100 or set an appointment online. Learn more about Mammography at VPFW.