Breast Imaging - Galactography (Ductography)

Galactography is an x-ray examination that uses mammography, a low-dose x-ray system for examining breasts, and a contrast material to obtain pictures, called galactograms, of the inside of the breast’s milk ducts.

An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.

The breast is composed primarily of three structures: fat, lobules (that make the milk) and milk ducts (that carry the milk from the lobule to the nipple). While mammography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are excellent ways to image the breast; they do not visualize the inside of the breast’s milk ducts to the same degree as galactography.

The most common use of galactography is to evaluate a woman who has a bloody or clear discharge from her breast nipple and an otherwise normal mammogram.

Galactography is typically NOT called for in women with the following conditions:
•    A discharge that is milky, yellow, green, black or gray is usually not a cause for concern, especially if it comes from multiple ducts in the breast.
•    A discharge that is from both breasts in a woman who has not had children may indicate a side effect from a drug, or may be related to a pituitary problem located in the brain.
•    A minimal milky discharge from both breasts in a woman who has had children is not unusual, and only rarely is a cause for concern.

Breast Imaging Services: