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Medical Imaging

North York General Hospital offers a variety of imaging procedures to diagnose breast cancer. These include:
  • mammography
  • ultrasound
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

Learn more about North York General's Medical Imaging Services.

Mammography

Mammography uses low-doses of X-rays to take detailed images of breast tissue. Mammograms are used to screen for breast cancer and often to take additional images. At North York General Hospital,we use digital mammography, as well as tomosynthesis, creating a 3D image of the breast. Your mammogram will be performed at the Karen, Heather and Lynn Steinberg Breast Services.

Preparing for your mammogram
What to expect

  • You will be asked not to use any deodorants, antiperspirants, body lotions, or talcum powders since the metals in these products may interfere with images.
  • You will be given a gown and asked to remove your top at the appointment.
  • Your breast will be compressed betweentwo glass plates.
  • You will need to remain still for less than a minute while X-rays are taken of the breast.
  • Generally,four images are taken for a screening mammogram,two of each breast.
  • The pressing of the breast may be uncomfortable or hurt.

What to wear

  • Wear comfortable clothing with a top that is easy to remove. You will not have to remove clothing below the waist.

Questions for your doctor

  • Can I take a mild pain relief pill one hour before my appointment?
  • When and how will I receive my results?
Please contact thepatient navigatorif you have any questions or concerns regarding a mammogram or any other procedure.

Learn more about diagnostic mammography from:
Breast ultrasound

Breast ultrasound (also called sonography) is a diagnostic tool that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of breast tissue. It may be used to see lumps that are not clear on the mammogram. Ultrasound is non-invasive and involves no radiation.

Preparing for your ultrasound
What to expect:
  • You will be asked to lie on your back or side and expose your breasts.
  • A gel is applied to the breast being examined.
  • A small hand-held instrument that sends out sound waves is passed over the gel-covered area.
  • You will be asked to lie still for about 10 minutes.

What to wear

  • Wear comfortable clothing with a top that is easy to remove; you will not have to remove clothing below the waist.

Questions for your doctor

  • When and how will I receive my results?

Breast ultrasound services are offered primarily at our Branson site location (555 Finch Avenue West). Your physician will let you know where your test will take place. Please contact the patient navigator if you have any questions or concerns regarding having an ultrasound or any other procedure.

Learn more about ultrasound from:
Breast MRI

Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnets and radio waves to produce detailed 2-D and 3-D images of the breast. It is considered very safe. This is a non-invasive procedure, which does not involve radiation. Breast MRI services are offered at our General Site (4001 Leslie Street).

Preparing for your MRI
What to expect:
  • Our MRI technologists will introduce themselves and bring you into a private consultation room to go through some MRI safety questions and explain the procedure.
  • If you have a pacemaker or programmable shunt, an MRI cannot be done.
  • If you have an implanted device, please provide this information before arriving for your appointment:
1. Make and model of implant.
2. Manufacturer of implant.
3. Date of surgery for the implant.
  • Examples of implanted devices include: aneurysm clips, heart valves, breast tissue expander, cochlear implants, eye implants (with the exception of replaced intraocular lenses), stents, stimulator devices, porta catheter or any type of pump which may be implanted).
  • If you have worked with, or around metal, and had an injury to your eyes with metal you will need to have X-rays of the eyes prior to your MRI.
  • You will be asked to remove all clothing except underwear, socks and shoes. You will be given a patient gown and pants to put on.
  • You will be asked to remove anything metallic, such as jewellery, belts, earrings or zippers. It is strongly recommended that you do not bring any valuables with you because you will need to remove and place all jewellery in a patient locker.
  • Before the scan begins the technologist will give you ear plugs to reduce the noise that is created by the MRI.
  • During the MRI, you will need to expose your breasts and lie on your stomach.
  • As the MRI begins you will hear a loud thumping sound.
  • You will have a contrast dye injected into your arm near the end of the MRI to help with the clarity of the images. Although rare, some people have temporary discomfort during this infusion. You will be given a call bell to alert the technologist if you are not feeling well.
  • Your examination is expected to last 45 minutes.

What to wear
  • You will be asked to remove all clothing except underwear, socks and shoes and you will be given a patient gown and pants to put on.

Questions for your doctor
  • When and how will I receive my results?

Please contact the patient navigator if you have any questions or concerns regarding the procedure.

Learn more about MRI from: