What is breast ultrasound?
Breast ultrasound is a non-invasive, painless imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the inside of the breast. Ultrasound is a unique type of medical imaging because images are captured in real time, which allows doctors to see blood flow as well as the structure and movement of internal organs.
Why is breast ultrasound performed?
Breast ultrasound is most often performed as a diagnostic exam following a screening mammogram or during a breast biopsy.
- When a screening mammogram shows a potential area of abnormality, a diagnostic exam will be ordered to help doctors provide a definitive diagnosis. A breast ultrasound helps a radiologist to determine whether there is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass in the breast, and if further imaging and/or testing is required.
- Breast ultrasound is also often used during breast biopsy procedures. Radiologists use ultrasound guidance to ensure the biopsy is performed in exactly the right location in the breast.
How do I prepare for a breast ultrasound?
There is no special preparation necessary for this exam. When you arrive for your exam, you will be asked to undress from the waist up and you will be given a gown to wear. All exams are performed by mammography-certified female technologists.
How is a breast ultrasound performed?
During your ultrasound procedure, a clear gel is applied to your skin to eliminate air pockets between the ultrasound transducer and the skin. The technologist presses the transducer against your skin and moves it back and forth over the specific area. A picture of the breast tissue will be seen on the screen of the ultrasound. The exam takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
When will I get my results?
Results are provided to your referring health care provider within 24 hours. If you have questions about your diagnosis or next steps, please call your referring health care provider first. You may also view your results online at our patient portal within 72 hours of the exam.