Ultrasound is frequently used to evaluate breast abnormalities detected by mammography, the patient, or her doctor, and should not be considered a screening procedure. Ultrasound obtains images of the breast from nearly any angle.
About the Procedure
A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of the tissues inside the breast. A breast ultrasound visualizes all areas of the breast, including the tissue nearest the chest wall, an area that is difficult to view on traditional mammography. Breast ultrasound does not expose tissue to potentially harmful radiation.
Breast ultrasound is an invaluable tool in determining whether a breast lump is filled with fluid (a cyst) or is solid. An ultrasound does not replace screening mammography, but is a useful follow-up when abnormal results are found on a mammogram.
During a breast ultrasound, a small handheld unit called a transducer is gently passed back and forth over the breast. A computer converts the sound waves into an image on a monitor. The resulting image is called a sonogram or ultrasound scan.
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You may be asked to put on a gown or remove clothing and jewelry in the area to be scanned. If you have previous breast images such as mammograms, MRI or ultrasound images, prior to your appointment they should be sent to the CRL Imaging Center where your procedure is scheduled.