The examination requires you to stand in front of the x-ray unit where the mammographer will gently place your breast onto the x-ray plate. The mammographer will adjust your breast to ensure correct position following which your breast will be compressed between the plate and plastic paddle. The compression process is uncomfortable however it is necessary in obtaining a diagnostic image and only lasts for a couple of seconds. The breast is required to be compressed so as to spread the tissue out as much as possible and allow a thorough look at through all the tissue. Inadequate compression can lead to poor images and thus an incorrect diagnosis.
There is no specific preparation for this examination. It is however important that you do not wear talcum powder on the day of your appointment as this can show up on the images.