Breast UltrasoundFind a Location
What is breast ultrasound?Breast ultrasound, or breast imaging, uses a transducer or probe to generate sound waves and produce pictures of the body's internal structures. It does not use ionizing radiation and has no known side effects. Breast ultrasound also provides a picture of soft tissues that don't show up well on X-ray images.
When undergoing a breast ultrasound exam, the sound waves are harmless and may be used with complete safety, even on pregnant women. Ultrasound is often used to help diagnose unexplained pain, swelling, lumps/mass and infection. It may also be used to provide imaging guidance for biopsies or to see and evaluate conditions related to blood flow. Breast imaging examinations can help to diagnose a variety of conditions and to assess organ damage following illness.
Breast ultrasound is an especially important examination. Since mammography cannot detect all cancers, especially in the 48% of women with ‘dense, fibrocystic breasts’, ultrasound is performed to screen for occult breast cancers that may be obscured on mammograms.
In addition, a lump or mass felt by a patient, a physician, or seen on a mammogram can be evaluated with ultrasound to determine its cancer potential. Breast imaging does not replace mammography but is an important adjunct to women’s health and early detection of breast cancer .
Nuvance Health provides state-of-the-art equipment using high performance digital ultrasound with duplex and color doppler. This is used to evaluate blood vessels, like arteries and veins. Our radiologists and sonographers possess extensive experience and have undergone specialty training and certification in ultrasound technology.
Preliminary ultrasound results are sent promptly to your physician and are followed with a detailed written report within 24 hours. If there are any urgent or critical findings, we will inform your doctor immediately.
Is a breast ultrasound exam safe?
- Breast ultrasound imaging is extremely safe and does not use any ionizing radiation.
- There are no known harmful effects on humans.
- Ultrasound scanning is noninvasive (no needles or injections).
- Breast ultrasound provides real-time imaging, making it a good tool for guiding minimally invasive procedures such as breast needle biopsies and fluid aspiration.
Who interprets the results and how do I get them?
A board-certified radiologist*, specifically trained to supervise and interpret ultrasound examinations, will analyze the images and send a report to your primary care or referring doctor who ordered the exam. The referring doctor will share the results with you.
In cases of breast diagnostic studies (a lump, breast pain, abnormal shadow on a mammogram), the results will be shared at the end of your examination.