810552 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Ductogram

    (Galactogram)

    Definition

    The female breast contains tube-like structures called ducts. When a woman is breastfeeding, these ducts bring milk from the milk-producing glands to the area around the nipple. This allows the milk to flow from the breast to the infant.
    Breastfeeding
    IMAGE
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
    A ductogram is a test to create images of the breast ducts. It is done with a mammogram and special contrast dye.

    Reasons for Procedure

    A ductogram is done to look for the cause of abnormal discharge from the nipples.

    Possible Complications

    Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
    • Adverse reaction to the contrast dye
    • Injury to the duct
    • Breast infection
    • Pain
    Talk to your doctor about these risks before the procedure.

    What to Expect

    Prior to Procedure

    Before the ductogram, your doctor may:
    • Do a physical exam
    • Order tests, such as a mammogram and blood tests
    • Ask you about your medical history
    • Ask you about the medications that you take, including any over-the-counter products, herbs, and supplements
    In the days leading up to the procedure, your doctor will ask you to avoid squeezing any discharge from the nipple. It’s important that there is discharge during the ductogram.
    On the day of the ductogram:
    • Be sure to tell the staff if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
    • Eat and drink as usual. If you normally take medication, you can do this as well.
    • Do not apply deodorant, talcum powder, lotion, or perfume near your breasts or under your arms.
    • Wear comfortable clothing so you can easily remove your shirt.

    Description of the Procedure

    There are different techniques to do this procedure. In general, you will be asked to lie on your back. The nipple area will be cleaned. Then the breast will be squeezed to release discharge. This will help your doctor determine which duct the discharge is coming from. A small, flexible tube will be inserted into the milk duct. The contrast dye will be injected through this tube. X-ray images will be taken of the breast after the contrast material is injected. Lastly, the cannula will be removed and a small bandage or pad will be placed over the nipple.

    How Long Will It Take?

    30-60 minutes

    Will It Hurt?

    You may feel some discomfort during the procedure.

    Post-procedure Care

    You will be able to go home after the ductogram. You can resume your normal activities. Leave the bandage or pad on since the contrast dye may leak out of the duct.
    Talk to your doctor about the results. Your doctor may ask for other tests or procedures if there are any abnormal areas.

    Call Your Doctor

    Call your doctor if you:
    • Notice any other changes in your breast, such as thickening or a lump
    • Develop any other symptoms, including a possible allergic reaction to the contrast dye
    • Develop signs of infection such as heat, swelling, pain, fever, or chills
    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

    RESOURCES

    Radiological Society of North America http://www.radiologyinfo.org

    US Department of Health and Human Services Women’s Health http://www.womenshealth.gov

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

    Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca

    References

    Breast cancer overview. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003037-pdf.pdf. Accessed June 11, 2013.

    Breast ductography. Radiopaedia website. Available at: http://radiopaedia.org/articles/breast-ductography-1. Accessed June 11, 2013.

    Ductogram (galactogram). Exempla Breast Care Center website. Available at: http://www.exempla.org/documents/ESJH/adj%5Fductogram.pdf. Accessed June 11, 2013.

    Ductogram/galactogram: imaging the breast ducts. Liberty Hospital website. Available at: http://www.libertyhospital.org/Service/DuctoGalactogram/Index.htm. Accessed June 11, 2013.

    Ductography: how to and what if? RadioGraphics. 2001;133-150.

    Galoctography (ductography). Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=galactogram. Updated March 7, 2013. Accessed June 11, 2013.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.