Ultrasound, also known as sonography, is an imaging method in which high-frequency sound waves are used to outline a part of the body. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted through the area of the body being studied. The sound wave echoes are picked up and translated by a computer into an image that is displayed on a computer screen. You are not exposed to radiation during this test. You cannot feel or hear these sound waves.
Breast ultrasound is used to evaluate breast concerns that are found on your mammogram or identified during a clinical breast exam. Ultrasound is not used for routine breast screening.
Ultrasound is the only way to tell if a mass is fluid filled (a cyst) or solid (both cancerous and non-cancerous masses can appear as solid on ultrasound). Breast ultrasound can also be used to help guide a biopsy needle into a mass to get laboratory analysis of the tissue.
Ultrasound is a valuable tool to use with mammography because it provides another type of image of the breast tissue. However, the effectiveness of a breast ultrasound is dependent on the skill and experience of the operator. Our diagnostic radiologists perform all breast ultrasound examinations done at the Center for Breast Health.
Both you and your primary healthcare provider will receive written results of your breast ultrasound examination.