Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to make detailed images of the internal structures of the breast. Breast ultrasound is primarily performed to diagnose and characterize breast abnormalities. It can help determine if an abnormality is solid (which may be a non-cancerous lump of tissue or a cancerous tumor) or fluid-filled (such as a cyst).
When is breast ultrasound needed?
Breast ultrasound is not considered a screening test and does not replace the need for a mammogram. It is used in conjunction with diagnostic mammography to identify or further characterize possible abnormalities or lumps within a specific area of the breast. Breast ultrasound is not necessary for everyone; during your Breast Center visit, the radiologist will determine if this test is right for you.
Breast ultrasound is also used to check breast symptoms in patients 29 years of age or younger, as mammography is not recommended for this age group.
Additional reasons for breast ultrasound are as follows:
To determine if a breast lump is fluid filled (cyst) or solid (tissue)
To watch changes in a cyst
To characterize Lymph nodes in your breast or underarm area
To guide needle placement during a biopsy or aspiration
To guide seed/wire placement prior to breast surgery
What should I bring to my appointment?
– Your insurance card and a valid photo i.d.
Please arrive 5-10 minutes early to complete registration.
How should I prepare for my exam?
There is no special preparation for this exam.
How long will my exam take?
A breast ultrasound typically takes 15-30 minutes. During this time, your technologist will update your medical record, perform the necessary imaging, and review your images with a radiologist.
What happens during my exam?
You will lie on your back on an exam table. The technologist will place warm gel on your breast and use a transducer (a special ultrasound wand) to see the internal structures of your breast.
What happens after my exam?
Your images will be interpreted by one of our board-certified breast imaging radiologists (medical doctor). Same-day results will be provided to you after all diagnostic testing has been completed. We will also mail a letter with your results to your healthcare provider.