Health Information and Tools > Health A-Z >  Having a Galactogram (Mammoductography)

Main Content


Having a Galactogram (Mammoductography)

​​​​​​​What is a galactogram?

A galactogram is a mammogram that's done after x-ray dye has been injected into a breast duct through the nipple. It's done to see if there's an abnormality within the duct that may be causing nipple discharge. This procedure is also done to find a duct with an abnormality before the surgeon removes it. Most women don’t find that this procedure hurts. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes.

What happens during the galactogram?

  1. Your nipple is cleaned with an antiseptic. A small amount of discharge is squeezed out to find the duct that has the discharge.
  2. A very fine, blunt metal tube is gently inserted into the duct. A small amount of x-ray dye is injected through the tube to fill the duct. This may cause a full feeling within the deeper part of the breast. Freezing isn’t needed as this isn't an injection through the skin.
  3. A clear, sticky liquid is put on the nipple to “seal” the duct and prevent the dye from leaking.
  4. A mammogram of the breast is done. More mammogram views may be done to see the breast ducts in more detail.
  5. A damp cloth is used to wash off the sticky liquid. A gauze dressing may be put on.

A​ report of the radiologist’s findings will be forwarded to your doctor. You'll be contacted about the results.

​How do I prepare for the test?

Don’t squeeze or "express" your breast or nipple before the test. Limiting your caffeine 24 hours before the test will help make the mammogram a little more comfortable​.

Back To: Mammogram

Current as of: June 5, 2020

Author: Breast Health, Alberta Health Services