FAQ

These are some of the questions frequently asked by our patients :

How long will the appointment take?

Depending on the exams ordered by your doctor, the need for additional images or tests to fully visualize the tissue being examined, and the results of the exam, you can expect to be at our facility for less than two hours.

When should I arrive?

New patients should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to their appointment to complete any needed paperwork.  If you are an established patient it will take less time to complete the visit paperwork.  Please be sure to have your photo ID, insurance card and prescription with you to reduce any time spent waiting.

What should I bring with me?

Your photo ID, insurance card, prescription, and any prior films or reports you may have.  We will scan your information and return any images or reports to you.  Please leave valuables at home.

How do I access the PATIENT PORTAL to view my exams?

Exam results are made available to all patients four days after our radiologist reviews the exam and approves the report.  Not all exams may be available on the portal (some biopsies, for example).  Please call us if you need your report and do not see it listed.  The patient portal is located at https://patients.wcrorlando.com

Why do you ask for my ID or SSN?

In order for us to provide accurate services, we must be certain that we are imaging the correct patient and performing the correct exam.  Many patients share common names and even birthdates.  Insurance companies are increasingly requiring additional verification of services rendered.  We may ask to scan your driver’s license to verify ID and services, or in the event of a name change (due to marriage, for example).  Scanned ID’s are deleted after a specified amount of time.

Your unique social security number is one way we have of differentiating patient accounts.  Medicare recipients requesting services must provide this number for eligibility and benefits.

What should I wear?

We want you to be comfortable.  Try to wear two-piece clothing so that you can change into a dressing gown easily.  If you are having an MRI or DEXA study, please do not wear any clothing with metal zippers or buttons.  Avoid using deodorant, perfumes or body cosmetics if you are having a mammogram, as these products can cause unsatisfactory results.

Are there any preparations that I must make for my visit?

Each examination is different.  Generally, there are few preparations you need to make for mammography or ultrasound, though you should check each exam for which you are scheduled.

Will having a mammogram hurt?

Some women experience mild discomfort during compression, which usually lasts only for a few moments.  Since each breast is compressed on two or more angles, some women may feel uncomfortable during the procedure.  Our technologists are well trained and experienced in performing mammograms, and can usually adjust the compression for the least amount of discomfort.

Does breast size make a difference in my cancer risk?

No.  There is no significant risk of breast cancer difference due to breast size, but studies have shown there may be increased risk due to breast density.

Is there radiation involved in this test?  Should I be concerned?

Mammography and DEXA both use X-rays to capture images, and both exams deliver small amounts of radiation (MRI and ultrasound exams produce no ionizing radiation).  Women’s Center for Radiology is accredited as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR), assuring our patients that we perform high quality imaging in the safest manner possible.

Radiation dosage has been in the press a lot recently, raising awareness of exposure to natural background radiation.  For comparison purposes, an abdominal CT scan delivers the equivalent of 10 years of natural exposure to radiation.  A mammogram is equivalent of about 7 weeks of natural exposure to radiation.

The health risk from the additional 3D mammography dose is very low and is comparable to the health risk from a few weeks of natural background radiation to which everyone is continuously exposed.  A panel of outside experts assembled by the FDA to review the system voted 11 to 0 (with one abstention) that the benefits of using 2D and 3D outweigh the risks.

As Dr. Elizabeth Rafferty, Director of Breast Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and Principal Investigator for the pivotal FDA study for Tomosynthesis, has said, “The risks of NOT using this new technology which improves the accuracy of mammography are greater than the risk associated with the additional radiation dose.”

Here is a link to the FDA press release on 3D mammography:
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm243072.htm

Here is the guide to Radiation Exposure in X-rays, from RadiologyInfo.org, for your convenience.

I always have an ultrasound in addition to my mammogram.  Can’t I just skip the mammogram?

The short answer is ‘no’, because each test looks for different things.  Mammography is excellent at spotting calcifications, for example, while ultrasound is better at determining the characteristics of cysts or small masses.  Each exam is necessary to produce a whole picture of your breast health for the radiologist.

When will I know the results of my test?

Diagnostic examinations are usually read while you are here.  Your radiologist will discuss any suspicious findings with you before you leave, and then send a report to your referring doctor.  Screening mammograms are usually read within two days and the report is sent to your doctor.  You should follow-up with your referring physician to discuss any treatment that may be needed.

What do you mean by ‘ethnic background’?  Why is that important?

We are asking if your genetic heritage is European, African-American, or Asian to help determine your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.

What is ‘Ashkenazi’?  Why is that important?

Ashkenazi Jews are the decendents of the medieval Jewish peoples who settled along the Rhine in Germany.  Today, Ashkenazi Jews make up approximately 80 percent of Jews worldwide.  This population has been shown to have an increased risk of breast cancer.  We ask for this information to help determine your lifetime hereditary risk of developing cancer.

What does BRCA mean, and why is it important?

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes.  Mutations of these genes has been linked to heriditary breast and ovarian cancer.  A women’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is greatly increased if she inherits a harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutated gene.  Genetic testing is available at Women’s Center for Radiology to determine if you have the harmful genetic mutation.

Can you watch my children while I have my exam?

Unfortunately, no.  We cannot be responsible for your children during your visit.  Please arrange to have someone to care for your children during your exam.

I’ve been told I’m at a higher risk for osteoporosis or osteopenia.  Is that why I have pain?

Osteoporotic bone loss is known as a ‘silent’ disease, meaning it doesn’t usually cause pain unless there is a fracture.  You should discuss any chronic pain with your physician.

Should I keep taking this medication or should I stop?

We cannot advise you on medication, dosage, or ongoing treatment of any kind.  We perform diagnostic imaging at the request of your physician.  Please talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have regarding your medication.

What do you see on my mammogram?

Your radiologist is specially trained to interpret and discuss any findings from your mammogram.  If you have any questions, please ask to speak with the radiologist before you leave.

If I need a breast biopsy, does this mean I have cancer?

Not necessarily. Most biopsies are benign and show no cancer.

Will I be asleep during the biopsy?

No.  The procedures performed in our office are done using local anesthesia, which means you’ll be awake with little or no recovery time.

What are the warning signs of breast cancer?  When should I be concerned?

See your doctor if you notice any of these things in your breasts:

Lump, hard thickening
Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
Change in the size or shape
Dimpling or puckering of the skin
Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
Pulling in of your nipple or other parts
New pain in one spot that does not go away

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