The primary use of breast ultrasound is to help diagnose breast abnormalities detected by a physician during an exam (such as a lump or bloody or spontaneous clear nipple discharge) and to characterize potential abnormalities seen on mammography.
Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. Ultrasound imaging can help to determine if an abnormality is solid (which may be a non-cancerous lump of tissue or a cancerous tumor) or fluid-filled (such as a benign cyst) or both cystic and solid. Ultrasound can also help show additional features of the abnormal area.
You will be asked to undress from the waist up for the procedure, so please wear a 2-piece outfit the day of your scheduled appointment. A gown will be provided for your use.
For this procedure, you will be lying on your back with your arm raised above your head on the examining table. A warm gel will be applied to the breast and the sonographer will press the ultrasound transducer against the skin, sweeping it back and forth over the area of interest.
This examination is usually completed within 30 minutes.