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?
- Your nipple is cleaned with an antiseptic. A small amount of discharge is squeezed out to find the duct that has the discharge.
- 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.
- A clear, sticky liquid is put on the nipple to “seal” the duct and prevent the dye from leaking.
- A mammogram of the breast is done. More mammogram views may be done to see the breast ducts in more detail.
- 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.