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Breast Ultrasound

This page includes general information about what you can expect before, during and after your exam. For more specific information about your appointment and results, please contact the local center where your appointment is scheduled.

An ultrasound is a safe procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to evaluate the breast and surrounding lymph nodes. During this exam, the sound waves bounce off surfaces in the breast, including tissue and fluid. The resulting “echoes” are recorded and create an image. Ultrasound can be used to determine if a lump is a benign cyst (sac containing fluid) or a solid mass. Sometimes a biopsy is performed in coordination with the exam; this is called an ultrasound biopsy.

Learn more about your Breast Ultrasound Experience:

We will call you prior to your appointment to discuss specific preparation instructions; medications you are taking, potential risks, past imaging exams you may have had and give you an opportunity to ask any questions.

  • Please bring previous studies to the appointment, including ultrasound, mammography, MRI, etc.
  • Wear a two-piece outfit so you will only have to remove your top. You will be provided a gown or robe.
  • Notify a member of our staff if you are nursing or if there is a chance you could be pregnant.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes early to verify your registration.
  • There is no special preparation for the breast ultrasound test.
  • You will lie on a padded examining table during the test.
  • A small amount of water-soluble gel is applied to the skin over the area to be examined. The gel does not harm your skin or stain your clothes.
  • A probe that looks like a little paddle is gently applied against the skin.
  • The ultrasound test takes anywhere between 15-45 minutes to complete, depending on how much of the breast tissue needs to be evaluated.
  • After the test, the gel will be wiped off your skin.

Ask a member of our staff for more specific information on when and how you will receive your results. However, in general you can expect:

  • A radiologist who specializes in breast imaging will review your ultrasound pictures.
  • The radiologist prepares a diagnostic report to share with your provider and determines what additional diagnostic steps may need to be taken.
  • If you have additional questions about your appointment or our services, please contact your local imaging center.