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Ductogram or Galactogram of the Breast

This page includes general information about what you can expect before, during and after your exam. For more specific information about your appointment, please contact the local center where your appointment is scheduled.

About breast ductograms or ductography

A ductogram (also called a galactogram) is used to gain a better view of your breast ducts. It is helpful in diagnosing nipple discharge to help accurately determine which ducts are causing you problems and if the duct needs to be removed.

Learn more about your experience:

We will call you prior to your appointment to discuss specific preparation instructions; medications you are taking, potential risks, past imaging exams you may have had and give you an opportunity to ask any questions.

  • Please bring previous studies to the appointment, including ultrasound, mammography, MRI, etc.
  • Wear a two-piece outfit so you will only have to remove your top. You will be provided a gown or robe.
  • Notify a member of our staff if you are nursing or if there is a chance you could be pregnant.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes early to verify your registration.
  • A ductogram is performed by first cleansing the nipple and areola with an antiseptic.
  • The radiologist performing the test then presses gently on the nipple to determine which duct is leaking fluid.
  • Once the leaking duct has been identified, a small needle (cannula) is inserted into that duct.
  • contrast dye is then injected into the leaking duct and an X-ray similar to a mammogram is performed.
  • The ductography procedure usually takes about an hour.
  • Gauze is typically placed over the nipple afterwards, as you will have a small amount of discharge from the contrast.

Our staff will give you more specific information on when and how you will receive your results. However, in general you can expect:

  • A radiologist who specializes in breast imaging will review your ultrasound pictures.
  • The radiologist prepares a diagnostic report to share with your provider.
  •  Your provider will consider this information in context of your overall care, and talk with you about the results.

Ductography is a very specialized procedure, and isn't available everywhere. To ensure your comfort and confidence, our highly trained and experienced radiologists have specialized training before performing this type of procedure.

If you have additional questions about your appointment or our services please contact your local imaging center