Mammograms & Scoliosis/Khyphosis

Posted by auntiem2 @auntiem2, Jul 23, 2022

I dread having my annual mammogram. Over the years my kyphosis and scoliosis have worsened which makes it really hard for the mammogram techs to get my body positioned correctly to take the images. It’s a two-person job—one pushes my shoulders into the machine (so painful!) while the other one works on positioning the breast & taking the picture. Is there any other way to have a mammogram for people like me?

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Hi @auntiem2,
For some disabled women, doing these things can be very difficult. I agree that a new modality for breast imaging desperately needs to be instated. According to the CDC, Mammograms can be taken while seated in your wheelchair. However, you need enough upper body balance to allow the breast to be put on the plate.

Here are some questions to ask when scheduling your mammogram that can help you prepare for your appointment:

How should I dress?
How do I prepare if I use a wheelchair or a scooter?
Can the machine be adjusted so I can remain seated?
How long is the appointment and can I have more time if I need it?
Let the scheduling staff, radiology technicians, or radiologist know if you can/cannot:

Sit upright with or without assistance.
Lift and move your arms.
Transfer from your chair/scooter.
Undress/dress without assistance.
When preparing for your mammogram, remember:

Wear a blouse that opens in the front.
Wear a bra that you can remove easily.
Do not wear deodorant or body powder.
If you have any disability-related concerns, discuss them with your primary care physician, women’s health specialist, radiologist, physician’s assistant, or other healthcare professional.
Have you asked about the possibility of remaining seated during the scan?


That reminds me of my earlier days of painful mammograms although my kyphosis and scoliosis wasn't as pronounced then. I hope you have found a way to reduce or eliminate the pain!
Now my issues are the compression and twisting that results in distended intestines (seen as significant "bloat")and a crowded stomach that doesn't tolerate more than 1 cup of food at a time or with very painful results. Any experience with that?

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