McLaren Port Huron is a breast imaging center of excellence

Digital Mammography Imaging Services

McLaren Port Huron is designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of RadiologyDigital Mammography is available to all women at McLaren Port Huron


All women should begin receiving annual screening mammograms at age 40.  All mammograms at McLaren Port Huron are digital.

How is digital mammography different?

  • Traditional mammograms use a film cassette to record the images, then the developed film is hung on a light box for the radiologist to view and evaluate.
  • Digital mammography images are acquired using computer technology. The images can be viewed immediately by the technologist and radiologist on a computer screen.
  • Film mammography is limited in detecting some cancers.
  • Digital mammography was developed, in part, to address some of the limitations in film mammography.

Advantages of digital mammography include:

  • Images are clearer
  • Images can be enhanced and magnified for further evaluation of suspicious area
  • Images do not require film processing
  • They are especially beneficial to women under 50, pre & perimenopausal women, and women with dense breasts.

Receiving a Digital Mammogram:

The process of having a mammogram will not change, as compression is still required. If a previous mammogram was uncomfortable, consider taking ibuprofen for several days before your appointment.

  • Wear a two piece outfit so that you can easily remove your top.
  • Do not wear any deodorant, body powder, lotion or perfume. These sometimes contain small particles that can appear as small spots or shadows, and may look like an abnormality.
  • Be prepared to complete a personal health history form, including your family history of cancer and current medications you are taking.

What happens during the exam?

  • You will undress from the waist up and wear a special cape. Only you and a technologist will be in the room during the exam.
  • Each breast will be compressed between two clear plastic plates on the mammography machine. Compression allows the best picture possible by spreading tissues as thinly and evenly as possible to allow maximum visualization of tissues and to obtain the most accurate picture. Compression may be uncomfortable, but if it becomes painful, please tell your technologist.
  • While the breast is compressed, you will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds as several pictures, at different angles, are taken of each breast.

How do you get exam results?

  • A radiologist will interpret your mammogram and send a report to you and your healthcare provider.
  • During this interpretation, the radiologist compares your present exam pictures with any previous exams, looking for any new findings or subtle changes.
  • All mammogram facilities are required to send patients their results. If you do not receive them, contact Women's Wellness Place at 810.985.2663.

Digital Mammography: Concerns About Radiation?

  • It's understandable that many women are concerned about the amount of radiation exposure received during their mammogram. Be assured that the federal government has set standards for safe levels of radiation emitted from mammography machines.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration enforces the law by inspection of mammography facilities. Facilities that do not meet the rigorous standards are not allowed to operate.

Scheduling your Exam

Obtain a doctor's order for a screening or diagnostic mammogram.

  • Schedule your mammogram at the end of your menstrual period when your breasts are least sensitive to compression.
  • Mention any pain, lumps, discharge, changes in your breast, implants, or breast reduction surgery when scheduling your appointment. It may be necessary to have your order changed to a diagnostic mammogram.
  • Obtain any previous films or images that have been done at another facility, or ask for a release form so that they can be sent to Women's Wellness Place.
  • Have insurance information available. Digital mammography is covered by most insurances, however, it is important to check with your provider before you schedule an appointment.
  • Women's Wellness Place can assist you in finding financial resources if you are a self-pay patient.
  • Telephone Patient Access at 810.989.3270 to schedule your appointment. Please bring your physician order with you to the appointment.