Mammography

Mackenzie Health is pleased to provide Mammography for patients with a scheduled appointment.

What is a Mammogram?

Mammography is specialized medical imaging test that uses a low-dose x-ray system to see inside the breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, aids in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.

An x-ray (radiograph) is a non-invasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.

Digital mammography, also called full-field digital mammography (FFDM), is a mammography system in which the x-ray film is replaced by electronics that convert x-rays into mammographic pictures of the breast. These systems are similar to those found in digital cameras and their efficiency enables better pictures with a lower radiation dose. These images of the breast are transferred to a computer for review by the radiologist and for long term storage. The patient's experience during a digital mammogram is similar to having a conventional film mammogram.

What is the Ontario Breast Screening Program?

The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) is a province-wide, organized breast screening program that provides high-quality breast cancer screening that women can access by self-referral.

Women aged 50 to 74 who are at average risk for breast cancer can self-refer for a mammogram at Mackenzie Health every two years using the OBSP.

Patients are not eligible to be in the program, if they:

  • have previously been diagnosed with breast cancer
  • have breast implants
  • are experiencing acute breast symptoms
  • have had a mammogram test within the last year
  • are not a current resident of Ontario.

For more information about OBSP at Mackenzie Health call 905-883-1212 ext. 7255 from Richmond Hill or 905-417-2000 ext. 7255 from Vaughan. Learn more about the Ontario Breast Screening Program and Cancer Care Ontario.

What is a Steotactic Breast Biopsy?

Stereotactic breast biopsy is performed as a non-surgical method of assessing a breast abnormality. Using mammography, a specific type of breast imaging and the use of a low dose of x-rays to locate a breast abnormality. The procedure removes a tissue sample that will undergo an examination under a microscope. It's less invasive than a surgical biopsy, it leaves little to no scarring and can be an excellent way to evaluate calcium deposits or tiny masses that are not visible on ultrasound.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

A stereotactic breast biopsy may be performed when a mammogram shows a breast abnormality such as:

  • A suspicious mass
  • Microcalcifications, which are a tiny cluster of small calcium deposits
  • A distortion in the structure of the breast tissue
  • An area of abnormal tissue change
  • A new mass or area of calcium deposits in a previous surgery site.

If the results show cancer cells, the surgeon can use this information for planning treatment.

Following your appointment, patients are advised to:

  • Avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours after your biopsy.
  • Please contact your physician if you experience excessive swelling, bleeding, drainage, redness or heat in the breast.

Referring a Patient

A completed Diagnostic Imaging requisition form must be completed by a physician for patients to be referred for a Mammogram at Mackenzie Health.

Please ensure the requisition form includes the referring physician's information, date and signature, patient's information and patient's clinical history.

To obtain a copy of the Diagnostic Imaging requisition form, visit the referral and consent forms page. Physician offices can fax a patient's Diagnostic Imaging requisition form to 905-883-0772.

How do I receive my appointment date and time?

Please allow three to five business days for a completed requisition form to be reviewed and processed by Mackenzie Health.

A representative from Mackenzie Health Scheduling Office will call the patient to advise:

  • Appointment date, time and location
  • Arrival time
  • Associated preparation instructions for the test

If you receive a voicemail from the Scheduling Office, please call 905-883-1212 ext. 2004 from Richmond Hill or 905-417-2000 ext. 2004 from Vaughan to complete the pre-registration process.

You can also log in to MyChart to view appointment dates/times, confirm your upcoming appointments and complete the pre-registration process using the eCheck-In service.

How do I prepare for a Mammogram?

You will receive a reminder notification a few days prior to your scheduled appointment. Please ensure you confirm or cancel through the automated system.

At the time of booking, you will be advised by the Scheduling Office on your arrival time.

  • A reminder, Mackenzie Health is a scent-free environment

Please follow any preparations provided at the point of scheduling

  • Bring your valid health card
  • Please do not schedule a mammogram for the week before your menstrual period if your breasts are usually tender during this time. The best time for a mammogram is one week following your period.
  • Do not wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of the exam. These can appear on the mammogram as calcium spots.
  • Patients who are being examined for a Stereotactic Breast Biopsy should report all medications that you are taking, including herbal supplements to their referring physician.
    • Your physician may advise you to stop taking aspirin, blood thinners, or certain herbal supplements for five days before your procedure to decrease your risk of bleeding.
    • Also, inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.

When you arrive for your appointment

  • You will be advised to change into a hospital gown
  • Always inform your doctor or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that you are pregnant
  • Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
  • Obtain your prior mammograms and make them available to the radiologist if they were done at a different location. This is needed for comparison with your current exam and can often be obtained on a CD.
  • Be sure to ask when your results will be available, so you may follow up with your referring physician.

How long does a Mammogram take?

Depending on the type of test you have, it may range from 30 minutes to two hours.

What do I do when I arrive at the hospital?

For appointments at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital:

  • Patients may park in the visitors parking lot, located n of the hospital, and enter through the D-wing entrance near the Emergency Department. Click here for more information on parking services.
  • Please allow yourself extra time during peak hours, as finding parking can take longer than expected. If possible, consider taking public transit, or getting dropped off by a family member or friend.
  • Check in at Patient Registration located on the second level of the C-wing using our self-serve kiosks.

How do I reschedule my appointment?

Please provide 48 hours' notice if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment. You can cancel your appointments online using MyChart but will need to reschedule by calling the patient scheduling office at 905-883-1212 ext. 2004 from Richmond Hill or 905-417-2000 ext. 2004 from Vaughan.

Are you looking for a CD copy of your images?

Mackenzie Health has partnered with PocketHealth to give patients online access to view and share their images from our hospital and other participating organizations at a reduced fee. This includes x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI scans and other medical imaging results.

Log in to your MyChart account to access this and additional features including eCheck-In, lab and test results, preparation instructions for upcoming appointments and more!

What are the benefits to accessing my images online?

By accessing your images online, you can:

  • Save time as there’s no need to visit the hospital to obtain a CD
  • Save money on parking and reduced fees
  • Share your images online directly with your requesting physician
  • View images from our and other participating hospitals and x-ray clinics

To learn more, please visit the MyChart FAQs section of our website.

How do I sign up?

Log in to your MyChart Account, visit the Test Results page and follow the link to our partner site, PocketHealth. From there, you can access your images in three easy steps:

  1. Enter your patient information, including name, date of birth and health card number
  2. Consent to the terms and conditions of the services being provided
  3. Complete a secure payment of $5

Can I come to the hospital and pick up my images in person?

You can request a CD copy of your health records from Health Information Services at Mackenzie Health for a small fee. Please visit our Health Information Services page for more information.

What will I have online access to?

If you sign up for MyChart, you will have online access to:

  • Check in online 7 days prior to your next appointment using our eCheck-In* service
  • View past and upcoming appointments
  • View preparation instructions for upcoming appointments
  • Complete pre-visit questionnaires*
  • Cancel appointments*
  • Update your demographics at any time (includes address, phone number, family physician, and more)
  • View lab and test results
  • View and share Diagnostic images including X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI scans and more
  • Clinical notes on your care and treatment
  • Track your health*
  • Access your list of conditions or medical concerns diagnosed at Mackenzie Health as well as your prescribed medications and known allergies

*Available for select clinics

You can register for MyChart when scheduling an appointment or you can self-sign up online at mychart.mackenziehealth.ca.

Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital

Mammography (including the Ontario Breast Screening Program)
C-Wing, Level 2
10 Trench Street
Richmond Hill, ON L4C 4Z3
Local to Richmond Hill: 905- 883-1212 ext. 2004
Local to Vaughan: 905-417-2000 ext. 2004
Fax: 905-883-0772
View the map for this location