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Everything you need to know about visiting the Ob-Gyn

Visual Examination of the Breasts

At this point a doctor may introduce a large mirror. This is for your education, so that you can observe what your doctor observes. It can be used to point out any unusual findings during the breast exam. (However, problematic findings should be discussed after you are dressed.) The doctor should encourage you to perform a regular breast self exam at home with a wall mirror and a large hand mirror.

The first thing we want to do is to uncover both breasts completely and seated with weight evenly distributed. Usually, shoulders will then be level. Your doctor should simply ask you to lower the gown to your waist. Now the doctor, standing in front of you, will visually examine your breasts with the patient in the seated position, looking side to side, and if necessary (as in the case of a woman with large or pendulous breasts), they may ask you to raise or lift your breasts with your hands so that they may see underneath. If there is any nipple discharge, lesions on your breasts or if you are a nursing mother, then they should glove before palpating. If there are any cuts, open sores, etc. on the doctors hands, they need to protect you from this. The following are some of the things we are looking for during the visual exam - symmetry, masses, lesions, skin changes and dimpling.

Now, you should be asked to put your hands on your hips and to raise your shoulders, squeezing shoulder and chest muscles, or shrug or curl the shoulders forward. The doctor visually examines the breasts looking side to side, looking at the various aspects of the breast tissue. Now the doctor visually examines the breasts with you leaning forward. Then they should ask you to raise your arms above your head slowly. The doctor should be visually examining the breast tissue, noticing the movement and whether it moves as a whole. If anything tugs or dimples, this could indicate a problem.

Continue on to Seated Examination

Back to Everything you need to know about visiting the Ob-Gyn

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