Galactography is a procedure designed to evaluate suspicious nipple discharge. Mammography will be used to examine breasts. A contrast material also will be used to obtain pictures, called galactograms, of the inside of the milk ducts.
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 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.
During the exam, a tiny amount of fluid is squeezed from the nipple to identify the duct with the discharge. The milk duct may be dilated to permit a small catheter or blunt-tipped needle to be inserted.
A small amount of contrast material is then injected, and a mammogram is obtained. A second injection and mammogram may be performed.
The nipple discharge will be examined clinically to determine if it is suspicious or benign. Any abnormality identified at galactography may be biopsied or localized for surgical excision.
Read more information on galactography on the RadiologyInfo website.