DEFINITION: A galactogram is a special X-ray exam that is utilized to evaluate breast fluid. This procedure allows the radiologist to insert a contrast material into the duct in your nipple so it can be seen on a mammogram X-ray more precisely.

WHAT TO EXPECT: For your galactogram, you will be asked to change into a gown. The galactogram procedure will be thoroughly explained to you by one of our medical assistants or technologists and you will have plenty of time to have all of your questions answered.

You will be asked to lie down on an exam table. During the procedure, your doctor will first sterilize the skin area with rubbing alcohol or iodine. The radiologist will apply manual pressure to the breast to elicit the fluid discharge from the duct. Once the discharge duct is indentified, the radiologist will insert a tiny hollow catheter into the duct of interest and inject a contrast dye. Our radiologists will take special care to make sure you are as comfortable as possible during the procedure. You will then be taken to a mammography machine, where images will be acquired of your breast with the contrast dye in place. When the exam is complete, the catheter will be removed. Gauze is typically placed over the nipple afterwards, as you will have a small amount of discharge from the contrast. This procedure usually takes about an hour.

HOW YOU CAN PREPARE: Please tell your doctor if you are taking any medications or have any allergies. Do not take any analgesics, vitamin E or blood thinners for seven days prior to your biopsy. Please let our staff know if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Please bring any previous imaging studies with you from institutions other than Mount Sinai.

RESULTS: Our specially trained radiologists will interpret your images and prepare a diagnostic report that will be shared with your referring physician or primary care doctor. Your doctor will then share the results with you and discuss further care.