The breast ultrasound is performed as a part of a multi-modality approach to breast care. Ultrasound, also known as sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves (above the hearing range) to produce images of the breast tissue. The various densities of the tissues within the breast (including glandular, fibrous, connective and fatty elements) reflect different amounts of the sound waves to produce an image that has various shades of gray that correlate to the densities of the tissues. Breast ultrasound is used to evaluate breast masses are cystic (fluid-filled) or solid. Breast ultrasound imaging can aid in differentiating benign from malignant processes, assessing breast implant problems and diagnosing and monitoring breast inflammation or abscess formation as well as providing guidance of need placement for aspiration or biopsy.
No preparation is required for breast ultrasound but comfortable 2-piece clothing is suggested.
During the Exam
Breast ultrasound imaging is usually done while lying on your back, but other positions, like being partially turned onto one side may also be necessary. A warmed gel is applied to the expose skin of the breast to provide good contact and the transducer (that sends an receives the sound waves) is moved over the breast to produce images of the tissues. A radiologist with breast imaging experience might also examine (palpate) your breast as part of the exam.
Breast ultrasound usually takes less than 30 minutes to perform depending on the number of areas of interest.
After the Exam
The results of the breast ultrasound and recommendations for follow up care will be given to you by our radiologist after reviewing and correlating the ultrasound images with other breast studies (mammography, MRI, BSGI). A copy of these results and recommendations will also be send to your referring doctor.