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Diagnostic Medical Sonography is an imaging modality that uses high frequency sound waves to capture and produce live images of different structures within the body.

Ultrasound can be used for a variety of reasons including the following:

  • Abdominal – evaluates the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, hernias, aorta screenings for AAA and the appendix

  • Soft Tissue – evaluates the thyroid, lymph nodes, small superficial lumps and male genital tract

  • GYN – evaluates the uterus and ovaries
  • Breast – evaluates a breast lump and is often times used in conjunction with a mammogram
  • Obstetrics – evaluates the presence and viability of a pregnancy as well as fetal growth and fetal anatomy surveys
  • MSK – evaluates for tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tears or ruptures and muscle tumors
  • Pediatrics – Ultrasound is a safe and cost effective way to image children. It is readily available, involves no ionizing radiation, and has the ability to provide high quality images of pediatric patients.

Exam preparation:

  • Abdominal – Patients must fast for 6-8 hours prior to their examination in order to eliminate the presence of bowel gas. Abdominal exams are recommended to be scheduled in the early morning.
  • Sonohystogram – It is recommended that patients call to schedule the procedure on the 1st day of their cycle. It is recommended to have the procedure performed one week after menstruation to avoid the risk of infection.
Trio of American College of Radiology Accreditation Logos. Logos are for Ultrasound, Breast Ultrasound, and Mammography


Sonohysterosonography, also known as saline infusion sonography, is an ultrasound exam that uses sterile saline to rule out causes for unexplained vaginal bleeding resulting from polyps, fibroids, endometrial atrophy, endometrial adhesions/ scaring, cancerous masses or congenital defects. Sonohysterosonography is also used to investigate causes for infertility or multiple miscarriages.

Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound

Nuchal translucency testing is a sonographic exam performed to evaluate the collection of fluid under the skin, behind the fetal neck during the 1st trimester of pregnancy.

A combined 1st trimester NT screening is a noninvasive screening test for fetal Down syndrome and trisomy’s 13 and 18. The screening includes an ultrasound and maternal bloodwork, while the ultrasound evaluates and measures the amount of fluid under the fetus’s neck (NT); it also determines the presence of a nasal bone. The maternal blood sample is collected to evaluate three chemicals, beta- human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), pregnancy associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) and alphafetoprotein (AFP).

Breast Ultrasound

An imaging modality commonly used to screen or evaluate tumors of the breast. Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of the inside of the breast. Because ultrasound does not use radiation, it is considered safe for pregnant or breast feeding patients.

When is a breast ultrasound performed?

Referring physicians may recommend an ultrasound for patients that are under the age of 30, are pregnant, are breast feeding or have silicone breast implants. Physicians may also recommend a patient have an ultrasound and mammogram if they feel a palpable lump on a breast exam.

Breast Biopsy Services

Core Needle Biopsy

Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, the sonographer and radiologist can accurately view and biopsy the area of interest during real time imaging, something mammography cannot do. A needle biopsy is performed with a local anesthetic which affords minimal if any discomfort. With this procedure, no stitches are required and most women can resume normal daily activity immediately. Keep in mind that more than 80% of all breast abnormalities are benign or non-cancerous.

If you are taking aspirin, ibuprofen or other blood thinners, we ask that you stop taking them with your doctor’s approval – 5-7 days prior to your biopsy. Please inform our staff if you have any history of bleeding disorders or are taking blood thinners. Please wear a supportive bra (sports bra) to help maintain the post-biopsy dressing. It is helpful to wear a two-piece outfit, preferably one that buttons up the front.

Cyst Aspiration

A simple procedure performed under ultrasound guidance by placing a needle into the cyst and extracting fluid into a syringe. A cyst aspiration is performed with a local anesthetic prior to fluid extraction. The procedure should take no longer than a half hour and most women resume to work and normal daily activity immediately.

Post Biopsy Instructions

After your biopsy, do not participate in any strenuous activity or take aspirin for 48-hours. You will be given an ice pack to place inside of your bra and will need to wear it for at least 4 hours. You are also asked to sleep in your bra for the next two nights. You may take Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, Motrin) if needed for any discomfort. The outer dressing may be removed after 24 hours. Do not get the area wet until this is done. The steristrip may be removed five days after the biopsy. You may bathe carefully with the steristrips in place, being careful not to loosen them. You may have some discomfort or bruising at the skin incision site. Watch for excessive bleeding, pain, or fever. Should any of these occur, contact our office. If calling between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., the number is 703-751-5055 for AIC, 703-494-3309 for WIC. After 5 p.m. call 703-504-4497 or 703-504-7783 and ask for the radiologist on call.

When will pathology reports be ready?

Your biopsy samples are sent to a pathologist, who will analyze and provide your physician and AAR with your diagnostic results and report. It typically takes three days from the day of your biopsy appointment. Your doctor’s office will be contacted as soon as the pathology report is finalized.