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Breast Ultrasound
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Breast Ultrasound

A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to evaluate palpable lumps and to detect cysts and solid tumors not found by mammogram alone.

What is Ultrasound Imaging of the breast?

Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use ionization radiation (as used in x-rays). 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 is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Ultrasound imaging of the breast produces a picture of the internal structures of the breast. Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel, including the body's major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck. During a breast ultrasound examination the sonographer or physician performing the test may use Doppler techniques to evaluate blood flow or lack of flow in any breast mass. In some cases this may provide additional information as to the cause of the mass.

Common Uses of Breast Ultrasound

  • Determining the nature of a breast abnormality: The primary use of breast ultrasound is to help diagnose breast abnormalities detected by a physician during a physical exam (such as a lump or bloody or spontaneous clear nipple discharge) and to characterize potential abnormalities seen on mammography.
  • 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.
  • Doppler ultrasound is used to assess blood supply in breast lesions.