For many years (40+) I have gone for my yearly mammogram and received the results before I left the office. This was extremely comforting especially since I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. Last week, I went to a different facility, as I now spend the year living in two locations, and my breast surgeon asked that I have one done at the six-month point. I was quite surprised when the technician said that I was all done and would hear from them "probably" within a week or so. This was upsetting to me since it was a Friday, and I would have more time to "think" about this. She claimed that very few facilities (now that they were using digital equipment) have doctors on site and that the films would be sent to another office to be read. I was wondering how common this is becoming or maybe I've just been fortunate in using a facility that has on-site docs available. Thank you.
Dear twocapes: The time of mammogram results depends upon the facility and the purpose of the mammogram (screening or diagnostic). Many facilities provide results of screening mammography on a delay (whether there are radiologists on site or not). The results of a diagnostic mammogram (one where they are looking at an "abnormality") may be given at the time of the mammogram or later, depending on the facility. There is wide variability in how different facilities handle the delivery of test results.
You probably were fortunate. I get my results in a couple of days ..... before I leave the facility I am told a brief "everything looks OK ... no changes" by the Radiologist. I usually just go by the surgeon's office and pick up a final copy of the report. If I didn't go pick it up I would be called by their office within a week of the exam. From my experience I believe this is usually the procedure. I also receive a letter from the examining facility regarding the mammo results in 7 to 10 days.
Just as a follow-up to my original note - I contacted the facility today and asked a different person how long before I would get information. This time I was told "two weeks". I told her that was not acceptable. When she answered, "that's the way we do it", I asked to speak to their office manager. The manager gave me a sincere apology and told me that my mammogram would be "flagged". Since I had brought my previous records and they were told at the time of making the appointment that I had a history of breast cancer, someone "dropped the ball" and I should have been handled more expeditiously. Hopefully I won't have to bite my fingernails too much longer.
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