Ductogram: Closer Look at Nipple Discharge

A ductogram helps us find what's causing nipple discharge. It also helps us see what the inside of your breast ducts look like.

For Your Safety

If there's any chance you're pregnant, tell your doctor. We may need to hold off doing the exam. We don't want to risk possibly exposing your baby to radiation.

How to Prepare for a Ductogram

  • Tell your doctor about all medications and herbal supplements you're taking.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any allergies, especially to anesthesia.
  • Tell your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
  • You may want to plan to have a relative or friend go with you to the exam and drive you home. We recommend this, especially if we need to give you medicine to make you fall asleep.

On the Day of Your Exam

  • Don't wear deodorant, powder, lotion, or perfume under your arms or on your breasts.
  • You may need to remove some or all of your clothes and wear a gown during the exam.
  • You may also need to remove jewelry, eye glasses, and any metal objects or clothing. These might interfere with the images we take.

What to Expect During a Ductogram

  • We'll clean the skin over the area that we'll examine.
  • We'll inject a medication to numb the area. We do this with a very small needle.
  • We'll pass a tiny thread-like tube (catheter) into the duct opening.
  • We then fill the duct with a small amount of X-ray dye.
  • We'll take several images of the area.

Most people experience only minor or no discomfort with a ductogram.