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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Mammography

What we do

The majority of mammography examinations will take place at our dedicated Breast Centre at Clatterbridge Hospital. Although we do run a satellite service at St Catherine’s Health Centre in Birkenhead.

Patients may attend this unit through the National Breast Screening Programme or symptomatically (with a problem) through their GP.

What is a mammogram?

The mammogram is a relatively low dose x-ray. Four x-rays are taken, two of each breast, one from top to bottom (cranial caudal) and one from side to side (medio lateral), in order to image all the breast tissue. Each breast is placed in turn onto the x-ray machine and gentle but firm compression is applied. Compression is very important to keep the breast still and get the clearest picture with the lowest amount of radiation possible.

Some patients can find this compression uncomfortable. Research has shown it is comparable to having your blood pressure taken and less painful than having a blood test.