A breast ultrasound 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 (a sac containing fluid) or a solid mass. Sometimes a biopsy is performed in coordination with the exam; this is called an ultrasound biopsy.
What To Expect
- We’ll give you a call before your appointment to talk through preparation instructions.
- Please provide the name, address and phone number of any facility where you have had a prior mammogram. If you have images from previous exams, please bring them to your appointment. Our radiologist may need these prior images for comparison in order to make an accurate diagnosis.
- Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
- On the day of your exam, please arrive 15 minutes early for check-in.
- A technologist will greet you and will go over a few health questions.
- You will be led to a changing area to remove your shirt and bra and change to a robe or gown to wear for your exam.
- Your technologist will escort you to the ultrasound suite and will position you on a cushioned table for the exam.
- A small amount of water-soluble gel will be 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 to capture images of your breast tissue.
- When your scan is complete, you’ll be escorted back to the changing room so you can change out of the scrubs and back into your clothing.
- Once you have changed, your appointment is complete. You do not need to check out with the front desk when you leave.
- After the exam, your images will be sent electronically to a radiologist who will review the information and send a report to your referring provider, typically within one to two business days.
- If additional images are recommended, you will receive a phone call from our staff within 24-48 business hours to schedule a follow-up appointment.
- You should follow up with your referring provider to discuss your results.