What to Expect

The Center for Breast Care's Breast Imaging Center is an American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. This designation recognizes UI Health’s expertise, advanced technology, and commitment to the highest standards of breast cancer screening.

We offer a full range of breast imaging services, including screening and diagnostic mammography, ultrasound, MRI, and image-guided biopsy. We are one of the leaders of breast imaging services in the Chicagoland area and our radiologists are specially trained in breast imaging.

We understand that getting a mammogram may be a stressful experience for some patients, especially if there is a family history of breast cancer.

Our goal is to make this process as stress-free as possible. Our team is here to help and support you at every step of your appointment. If at any point you have questions or concerns about today’s appointment, we are here to answer and reassure you.

  • What do I do when I arrive for my appointment?
    When you arrive, you will be greeted by one of our staff members to assist with your check-in at the General Radiology waiting room. After you are checked in, you will be escorted to the Mammography waiting room to change and securely store your items before your mammogram.
  • What is the procedure like?
    You stand in front of the x-ray machine and place your breast between two plastic plates. These plates press each breast to make it compressed to get a good picture. The technician will adjust you to X-ray your other breast in the same way. Afterward you will wait as the technician confirms that the X-ray images were taken clearly.
  • How can I prepare for my appointment?
    When you visit UI Health for a mammogram, please remember the following before your appointment:
    • Avoid lotions, perfumes, or deodorant on your chest area.
    • You can take over-the-counter pain medication 30 to 45 minutes before your appointment to manage any mammogram-related pain.
    • Avoid caffeinated beverages two to three days before your mammogram, as caffeine can make the breast sensitive.
  • Does it hurt?
    When the plates press your breast, this "squeeze" might hurt for 4–11 seconds (per view). Some women say that it is uncomfortable; others say that it is not at all. In general, more compression generates better images.
    Our technicians are highly trained and focused on keeping you as comfortable as possible throughout your mammogram. They will explain every step of the process and will make adjustments for your comfort, while still getting the best images.
  • When will I receive my results?
    To ensure timely results, our Radiologist read the mammogram images the same day as your screening. You will receive your results in a letter that will be will be mailed no later than the following business day to you and your primary care provider. You can also access your results via MyChart.
  • What happens after I receive my results?
    If your results are negative, you will continue with your annual screenings and care plan determined by you and your primary care physician. If something is seen on the mammogram, it does not mean that you have breast cancer.
    Your primary care physician will be notified, and you will come back to UI Health to receive specialty mammogram views or other tests, like ultrasound, that the radiologist interprets. Based on these additional tests, your doctor can make the best plan for you.

Click here for more information on the different diagnostic and follow care procedures.

Mammogram Screening Near You

For more information or to make an appointment, call 312.413.4900.