Taranaki Radiology is proud to be the home of mammography services for the province.

3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis) is the latest breast imaging technology that has been proven to improve the accuracy in diagnosis of breast cancer. It is performed as part of a diagnostic mammogram examination. In addition to the standard mammographic views, a specialised view (tomographic) is taken to produce 3-D images.

Mamography-3D-Right scan-Taranaki Radiology

At Taranaki Radiology we offer 3D mammography (Tomosynthesis) as a screening and diagnostic tool 

  • 3D mammography (tomosynthesis) is designed for early breast cancer detection and can show changes in the breast long before they can be felt
  • A 3D mammogram takes multiple images or ‘slices’ of the breast tissue which allows our radiologist to look at the breast tissue in much finer detail than a traditional mammogram. 3D mammography is also particularly useful to screen women who have dense breast tissue.
  • A 3D mammogram complements standard digital mammography and is performed at the same time. There is no notable difference in your experience as no additional compression is required, and it only takes a few more seconds



  • Diagnostic Mammograms are performed when a patient has breast symptoms such as a lump, pain or discharge.  If you have breast symptoms you must see your Doctor for assessment and referral for a diagnostic mammogram.


  • Screening Mammograms are performed when a patient has no breast symptoms or concerns.  Regular screening mammograms are recommended by the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ for women beginning at the age of 40.
  • BreastScreen Aotearoa is New Zealand’s national breast screening programme for women aged between 45 and 69. They provide free mammograms every two years for women with no symptoms aged between 45 and 69.
  • Women over the age of 40 are able to self-refer for a private screening mammogram (so no need to get a referral form from your Doctor).
  • We encourage you to talk with your referrer to find out what’s best for you.
  • Mammograms are a type of x-ray examination that expose the breasts to small amounts of radiation. Experts agree that the benefit of finding a potential cancer early outweigh any possible harm from the radiation exposure.
  • Radiation is something that naturally occurs in our environment.  The dose of radiation used for a screening mammogram of both breasts is about the same amount of radiation a woman would get from her natural surroundings over about seven weeks.
Mamography-3D-Right scan-Taranaki Radiology


  • We will give you a call before your appointment to talk through preparation instructions for your mammogram.
  • Please provide the name, address and phone number of any facility where you have had a prior mammogram. If you have images from previous examinations, please bring them to your appointment. Our radiologist will need these prior images for comparison in order to make an accurate diagnosis.
  • Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • On the day of your mammogram, please arrive at 56 Fulford Street, 10 minutes early for check-in.
  • A technologist (also known as a mammographer) will greet you and will go over a few health questions with you.
  • You will be led to a changing room to remove your shirt and bra and put on a gown that we provide for your examination.
  • Your technologist will show you to the mammogram room and will position you in front of the machine.
  • One at a time, your breasts will be carefully positioned between the adjustable platform and clear plate. You will feel brief pressure (also known as compression) as the plate flattens the breast tissue to get the clearest image. If you have had a 2D mammogram before, be reassured that that a 3D mammogram takes only a few seconds longer.
  • When your mammogram is complete, you will be escorted back to the changing room so you can change back into your clothing.
  • Once you have changed, your appointment is complete.
  • After your examination, your images will be reviewed by two radiologists (who specialise in breast imaging) who will issue a report describing their findings to your referrer.
  • It is not uncommon for the radiologist to recommend additional images; you will receive a phone call from one of our team members if this is required to schedule a follow-up appointment.
  • You should follow up with your referrer to discuss your results.

Mammography FAQs

What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is a safe, low-dose x-ray of the breast that can pick up very small breast cancers, well before a lump can be felt. Early detection can reduce the chance of dying from breast cancer by approximately one third, as small, early cancers are easier to treat.
Who is a mammographer ?

A mammographer is a trained radiographer/technologist who has specialised in performing x-rays of the breast.

Can I use deodorant or lotions before a mammogram?
You should avoid the use of all personal care products on the breasts and under arm area on the day of your mammogram. Do not apply any deodorant, antiperspirant, lotion, body powder or perfume to your breast or underarm area. Any of these personal care products can affect your test results, showing as white areas on the mammogram images. Even if the products are not directly on the breast, such as in the armpits, they can still affect the test results, so it’s best to avoid all of these types of products on the breasts, in the armpits and all surrounding areas. If you forget this before your appointment, your technologist will provide you with wet wipes to clean off the area before the procedure.

Be sure to wipe thoroughly under both arms, and each breast as well. Cleaning your skin ensures any residue that’s left from lotions, creams or deodorants won’t interfere with your imaging.

If it’s uncomfortable for you to go without these products, you can schedule your test earlier in the morning, so you don’t have to go all day without personal care products. You can also bring them with you and apply right after your appointment.

What should I wear to a mammogram?

What you wear to a mammogram won’t affect the procedure or test results as we will ask you to get changed into one our our gowns. However, you will need to remove any clothing from the waist up, so you may be more comfortable if you avoid one-piece outfits like dresses and jumpsuits. Wearing a shirt with pants or a skirt ensures you will only have to remove your top and bra for the examination. You should also avoid wearing any jewellery like a necklace, since you’ll have to take it off anyway.

Can you eat and drink before a mammogram?
Mammogram appointments do not require fasting beforehand, so feel free to eat and drink as usual. Eating and drinking, even right before the test, won’t affect the procedure or the results.
Can I schedule a mammogram during my period?
Your monthly cycle won’t necessarily affect the outcome of the mammogram. However, many women experience some mild swelling and tenderness of the breasts the week before, and during, their periods. So, if you are pre-menopausal, you will likely be more comfortable during the mammogram if you schedule the appointment for the week after your period.
Can you take medications before a mammogram?

Most regular prescription and over-the-counter medications won’t affect the outcome of your mammogram, so you can take your usual medications without worry. You may even want to take ibuprofen right before your appointment if you have any concerns about pain during the procedure. However, know that your mammographer will have your comfort in mind, and will be as gentle as possible.

What you shouldn’t do before a mammogram

Before your mammogram appointment, of the biggest “don’ts” to remember is: Don’t worry!

We completely understand you being apprehensive and anxious but there is no need to be scared of the procedure, which is performed as gently as possible, with many only experiencing minor discomfort. Having this important examination done can protect your health and give you peace of mind. 

Should you bring anything with you to a mammogram appointment?
Generally, you don’t need to bring anything extra with you to your appointment. If you’ve previously had any mammograms at other facilities, you should bring any prior mammogram images with you so your technologist can compare the images and look for any changes. You should also be sure to discuss with your technologist any changes you may have noticed in your breast tissue, or changes and concerns in personal or family health history.
Does a mammogram hurt?

Everyone experiences mammograms differently. Discomfort during a mammogram procedure varies from patient to patient. Some experience discomfort due to the compression that is applied to the breast, and others may not feel anything at all. Most people, however, tolerate the exam quite well.

Service Location: Fulford

Mammography, Ultrasound and CT Scanning

59 Vivian Street, New Plymouth

8am-5pm weekdays

Appointments available evenings and weekends

Phone 06 759 4317 extension 710