Breast Ultrasound

What is Breast Ultrasound?

Ultrasound uses sound waves similar to those used during pregnancy to look at the fetus. It does not have any radiation. Breast Ultrasound is used as an adjunct to mammography in the same fashion that MRI complements mammography.

What are the indications for Breast Ultrasound?

The most common indication for breast ultrasound is for a palpable finding, meaning something that is found by the physician or patient on a physical exam. Ultrasound is also used for masses, distortion, or unequal breast tissue (asymmetries) seen on mammography. It may also be helpful following an MRI if an abnormality needs to be biopsied. Ultrasound may be used as a guidance modality in performing minimally invasive breast biopsy.

What can I expect during the exam?

The routine exam typically takes 15-20 minutes. Warm jelly is applied to the breast in the specific area of concern either based on a physical exam or abnormal mammogram/MRI finding. The exam is performed by a specially trained ultrasonographer. The radiologist may or may not scan the patient themselves. This will depend on the findings. The images will be reviewed by the reading radiologist and discussed with the patient prior to their departure from the office. There is no compression or radiation involved with this exam.

How do I prepare for this exam?
  • Try to schedule your procedure for the week after your period when your breasts are less tender and less stimulated by hormones
  • If possible, refraining from caffeine intake in most patients will decrease hormonal stimulation of the glandular tissue resulting in a better definable diagnosis in many cases
  • If possible, wear a comfortable two piece outfit that will allow you to wear a gown from the waist up.
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