What to expect at your appointment

Information on preparing for your appointment and what to expect when you arrive.

  • Please be prepared to have the details of when and where your last mammogram was (if applicable.) You will be asked for this information before your mammogram can be performed. 
  • If you have had a mammogram within the last 6 months, with us or elsewhere, please contact the screening office before attending your appointment. If you are currently under the care of a hospital for a breast problem please call the Screening Office to discuss your screening appointment.
  • We cannot accept children under 16 years old onto the mobile vans.
  • One person maximum to accompany you for your appointment please (men are not permitted on board).
  • Please refrain from wearing talc, spray deodorant, creams, lotions or oils on the breasts or armpits before attending your appointment.
  • You will be asked to remove your clothes from the waist up before entering the examination room.  It is advisable to wear separates.
  • The mobile units can only be accessed by a staircase.  If this could potentially be unsuitable for you, or if you have any mobility difficulties, please contact the screening office so that your needs can be assessed and met accordingly.
  • Information about breast screening is also available in other languages. Please contact the Screening Office.


What to expect: 

Upon arrival, you will be checked in at the reception desk, whereby you will be asked a few questions to confirm your contact details, the name of your registered GP and the details of when and where your most recent mammogram was (if applicable). Please bring photo I.D. if possible.

You will be shown to a cubicle and asked to undress from the waist up. You may place a loose top or cardigan etc back over yourself to go into the X-ray room with.

We may ask ladies to tie long hair back before the examination.

Once the Mammographer is ready, she will invite you into the X-ray room directly from the changing cubicle.  We ask that you take any valuables, including handbags, into the room with you.

You will be asked to confirm your personal details again for identification purposes and you can discuss previous or current concerns regarding your breasts.

Any visible scars, blemishes or moles on your breasts will also be recorded to help distinguish their location for the film readers when they come to interpreting your mammograms.

The Mammographer will discuss the procedure with you and will be more than happy to answer any queries you may have about any part of the examination.

Once you have been positioned, the Mammographer will apply the compression and you will be asked to keep as still as possible for a few moments while the X-ray is taken.  Sometimes, you will be given breathing instructions to also help obtain the best possible mammogram.

The Mammographer will routinely perform four X-rays altogether, two pictures on each breast, each from a different angle. If you are large breasted or have breast implants, additional views may be required.

The examination itself takes approximately 5 minutes with the entire visit to the mobile van not taking any longer than 30 minutes.

The Mammographer will check the X-ray images for any obvious technical errors during your mammogram but please be aware that some sub optimal aspects, such as blurring, may not be possible to view on the monitors available on the mobile units.

Mammographers are not qualified to read the mammograms and so will not be able to give any indications of your results on the day.

Once the examination is complete you will be advised of how you will receive your results and then will be able to get dressed and leave the mobile unit.