What Happens After An Abnormal Mammogram?

What Happens After An Abnormal Mammogram?

December 14, 2021
Everett Bonner, MD
Everett Bonner, MD

Breast Surgery



You get the call: abnormal mammogram. It can go many ways, some go directly to biopsy, but some of these actually need more advanced imaging. So not necessarily jump right into a biopsy.


A screening mammogram, what it’s looking at, are there any abnormalities. They’re looking at whether you have microcalcifications, which fortunately, 85% of the time are benign. They’re looking for masses or distortion or something that doesn’t look completely normal. So some of those patients need maybe what we call compression views or different views from the mammogram. And that’s usually a call back, and you will go back and have some additional images done via the mammogram.


Some of those patients, if it’s a solid mass, may even need an ultrasound to see if they could see the lesion by ultrasound. Ultimately that’s the best way to biopsy, if it’s by ultrasound, it’s less invasive, but if it’s not seen on ultrasound and seen on mammogram only, then maybe mammogram might be the way the biopsy will go, or ultrasound, if you can see it or feel it.


Key Takeaways

1. A screening mammogram looks for abnormalities, microcalcifications, or masses.

2. Some patients might need compression views or different views.

3. If it’s a solid mass, they may even need an ultrasound to see if they could see the lesion.