Our Breast Imaging Team at Barnsley Hospital consists of :

 Administration, Reception and Secretarial Staff

Assistant Practitioners – Qualified in mammography for first stage screening

Mammographers – Radiographers, with specialist training in mammography.

Advanced Practitioners – Senior Radiographers with additional qualifications, who have extended their roles and responsibilities to perform some tasks that used to be done by doctors.

Radiologists – Medical Consultants who specialise in interpreting medical images and performing advanced radiological procedures to support diagnosis, treatment and follow up.

We provide the following services:

  • Regular invitations for routine breast screening to more than 40,000 women.
  • Imaging and care for women and men with breast symptoms in Barnsley and the surrounding areas
  • Annual surveillance imaging for patients previously diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Family history screening.
  • Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Preparing for a Mammogram procedure? – There are no special preparations beforehand for this procedure.  Patients can eat and drink normally.  If a patient has breast implants, they should inform the Radiographer when they arrive for their appointment.

Patients are advised not to wear deodorant on their under arm areas on the day of their appointment, as this may affect the x-ray image.

Patients should be aware that we are unable to offer childcare facilities.  If patients need to bring their children with them, patients should bring along an adult who can supervise them whilst the patient’s examination is being carried out.

What will happen during the procedure? – The procedure will last no longer than 15 minutes, however, patients should allow extra time in case of delays on the day of their appointment.

Once a few questions regarding general health have been answered, and the patient is happy to proceed with the mammogram, the Mammographer will ask the patient to remove their clothes from the waist up.

Each breast, in turn, will be placed onto the x-ray machine and firmly compressed by a clear plate.  Compression is needed to keep the breast still and to get the clearest picture with the lowest amount of radiation possible. The compression will only last a few seconds and does not cause any harm to the breasts.

Is the procedure painful? – Some women find compression slightly uncomfortable and some feel short-lived pain.  Patients should let the Mammographer know if it becomes intolerable during the procedure.

What will Happen after the procedure

If you have attended via our One Stop Clinic you will be informed of the results during your visit. Alternatively if you have come via the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme you will be informed via letter within two weeks

Other Breast Procedures

Breast Ultrasound

This is a test performed either by a Radiologist (x-ray doctor) or Advanced Practitioner (health professional specialising in breast imaging)

Whilst on the couch the patient’s breast may be examined to check the position of any lumps and a water-based clear gel will be applied to the skin of the breast.  This allows the probe to slide easily over the skin and helps to produce clear pictures.

What will happen after the procedure? – The ultrasound images will be reviewed by the Radiologist or a Sonographer, and a report will be issued to the clinician who referred the patient.  If patients have come via our One Stop Clinic or Screening Assessment Clinic, they will be informed of the results during their visit.

Ultrasound guided core biopsy of the breast

An ultrasound guided core biopsy of the breast is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the breast using a specialised biopsy needle, so that it can be examined under a microscope.  An ultrasound machine is used to identify the area of the breast that requires examination and to guide the biopsy needle to the correct position for the procedure to take place.

Core biopsies are performed by Radiologists and Advanced Practitioners that are specially trained to perform these tests.

Stereotactic biopsy of the breast

The biopsy should take around 1 hour in total.  However, it may occasionally take longer if the biopsy is technically difficult.  Most of this time is used for preparation, positioning and aftercare.  The actual taking of the tissue lasts only a few minutes.  The biopsy is performed by a Radiologist or  Advanced Practitioner

Breast cysts and cyst aspirations

Breast cysts are a benign (not cancer) condition.  They are one of the most common causes of a breast lump and can develop in either one or both breasts.  Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs inside the breast.  The Radiologist or Advanced Practitioner will put a clear gel on the patient’s breast and the ultrasound probe will be slowly moved across the breast to show and identify the cyst on the screen.  The patient’s breast will be cleaned with an antiseptic liquid and the needle placed through the skin and into the cyst guided by the ultrasound images.

Please contact the department if you require any further information regarding these tests