What to Expect During a Thermography Scan

January 5, 2018

I have noticed that many of the patients who come in for their first thermography scan are not sure what to expect or what is going to happen. I want to give some clarity on the whole process that you have to go through.

There are things that you can and cannot do prior to getting your scan. First, you can have no prolonged sun exposure for 24 hours prior to the scan. This is for a good reason. If your skin is hot or warm from being out in the sun, it can cause inaccurate results on your scan. Also, you cannot shave under your arms 4 hours prior to your appointment time. This is pressure and it can cause changes in your breast.
When you get here, I will walk you back to our thermography room. I will ask you to disrobe from the waist up. You will have to sit in a chair, in a room that is 69 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15 minutes with your arms up so that the area between your arms and your body may cool. I know this sounds like torture, but it’s really not that bad. You will be cold, but it’s only for a brief period of time. After the 15 minutes, I will come back into the room and get you in place while I adjust the thermography camera. I will get a total of 5 pictures at first. I will then have you put your hands in ice cold water for 60 seconds. Again, I know that sounds like torture but it’s over before you know it! At the end of the 60 seconds, I will take 3 more pictures of you. The purpose of this is to look at the vascular patterns in your breast; to see if they constrict like they should when provoked. After the last 3 pictures, we are done.

The longest part of the whole process is having to cool to the room temperature. The actual screening only takes 5 minutes! All of my patients tell me that the process is never as bad as they anticipated. Many patients have expressed how much happier they are with this process than with mammography. No pain, just cold. If you have any further questions about what to expect, just give us a call and I will be more than glad to answer any questions you may have.

Posted in Blog, Women's Health