An ultrasound is perfomed to detect suspected breast cancer and other breast abnormalities. Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of breast tissue. The image is displayed on a video screen and photographed for analysis. Ultrasound can often reveal whether a lump is solid like a tumor or a fluid-filled, non-cancerous cyst. It can also be used to see if cancer has spread to the liver.
The role of this procedure is to evaluate your breast tissue for abnormalities including cysts or other benign abnormalities and malignancy. Ultrasound is most suited to identify fluid-filled spaces such as cysts. Additionally, ultrasound is also very useful for examining both silicon and saline implants.
Before Your Exam
The imaging physician will need your previous mammograms, if you have them, to do your ultrasound. Please bring any previous mammogram films with you on the day of exam.
Your breasts may be sensitive during your menstrual cycle. We suggest that you do not schedule your mammogram in the week prior to your menstrual cycle.
During Your Exam
In most cases, your breast ultrasound was requested following your mammogram. If so, you will not need to complete another "Breast Imaging Questionnaire." If you have not completed one prior to this exam, however, you will need to complete it and review it with the technologist.
In a private dressing room, you will remove your clothes from the waist up and put on a gown for modesty. The technologist will pass a hand-held plastic instrument (transducer) over your breast. A lubricant (acoustic coupling) is applied to the breast for improved imaging.
After Your Exam
There are no post-exam instructions.
An imaging physician (radiologist) will review your study with you and will send your results to your physician. Your physician will discuss them with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Although we do not anticipate a delay in your scheduled appointment, consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music to help you pass the time should an unanticipated delay occur.
For your safety, please leave your jewelry and valuables at home. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please call (310) 423-9331, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.