A ductogram would be performed if and when you're having nipple discharge. This procedure helps your radiologist find the specific duct that is leaking. Only the duct that is discharging fluid will be tested during this imaging study.
Ductograms, (also called galactograms), are used to view your breast ducts. They help doctors evaluate and find the cause of nipple discharge. A ductogram requires that a contrast agent is injected into the breast, like during a breast MRI. A very tiny tube, called a cannula, is used to put fluid into the breast duct. This fluid, a contrast substance, will help outline the shape of the duct and will locate any mass inside the duct on an x-ray image.
Several abnormal conditions involving the milk ducts which may be diagnosed with the help of a ductogram. In addition to finding the cause of the nipple's discharge, a ductogram can help pinpoint the exact ducts which need to be removed. In some instances, a ductogram may offer a less invasive method of preventing the development of a cancer, while minimizing as much trauma to the breast as possible.
Since ductography is a very specialized procedure, a highly trained and experienced radiologist should do this procedure. Research is now looking at the combination of ductography in combination with contrast-enhanced MR with regard to the ability to determine the cause of nipple discharge.
Some surgeons feel that ductography is unnecessary since the patient will likely need surgery anyway. However, identifying the type or number of abnormalities can be very helpful in aiding the surgeon in either removing as little tissue as necessary, or in making sure to all of the involved tissue associated with extensive abnormalities is completely removed.
ABOVE: With a Ductogram as shown here, a contrast fluid lets doctors are able to see a clearer view of many parts of the breast, including milk ducts.
ABOVE: Most mammograms, without a contrast, can't show the ducts of the breasts as clearly as a ductogram.
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IMPORTANT: The information on this page, and throughout the entire site, is not intended to provide advice or treatment for a specific situation. Consult your physician and medical team for information and treatment plans on your specific condition(s). Images are shown for illustrative purposes. Do not attempt to draw conclusions or make diagnoses by comparing these image to other medical images, particularly your own.
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