In This Page:
- Need to Know
- Nice to Know
- Why is This Exam Done?
- How Does it Work?
- What Will Happen During the Exam?
- How Should I Prepare?
- What are the Benefits and Risks?
- Where Can I Get This Exam?
Breast Ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the breast structure and tissues. A breast ultrasound exam evaluates the internal structure of the breasts to help physicians diagnose breast abnormalities and treat breast disease.
Need to Know
Nice to Know
You will be asked to undress from the waist up and to change into a gown prior to the exam
Why is This Exam Done?
Diagnostic Breast Ultrasound
Diagnostic breast ultrasounds are performed to help diagnose breast abnormalities detected by a physician during a physical examination (such as a lump or nipple discharge), or to better evaluate a potential abnormality detected on a mammogram or breast screening ultrasound to specify potential abnormalities seen on a mammogram.
Screening Breast Ultrasound
Screening breast ultrasounds are performed as an adjunct to mammography. While mammography is still the gold standard for early detection of breast cancer, screening breast ultrasound may improve the chances of detecting cancer in those with dense breast tissue or implants.
How Does it Work?
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the body’s tissues, structures, and blood flow. A transducer/probe and ultrasound gel work in combination to absorb the reflected sound waves to produce images on the monitor.
What Will Happen During the Exam?
The sonographer will request that you lay quietly during the test to help ensue that the images are clear. She will then apply a warm, water based gel directly on the skin to the area that will be examined. The sonographer will then move the transducer against your skin to obtain clear images of the underlying tissue for the physician to interpret.
If you are having a diagnostic breast ultrasound exam, a physician will examine at your images at that time and will provide follow-up information if necessary before you leave.
How Should I Prepare?
What Are the Benefits and Risks?
The benefits of Breast Ultrasound:
- Ultrasound images are shown in real-time
- Ultrasound imaging can help detect lesions in women with dense breasts
- The exam is painless and non-invasive
- No radiation is used
Risks you should be aware of:
- There are no known risks for ultrasound