What is a High Resolution Breast Ultrasound?
Ultrasound breast imaging uses high frequency sound waves to acquire pictures or images of the inside of the breast to assist physicians in evaluating breast health. Often, ultrasound is used to further examine a finding seen on mammography or to evaluate a breast complaint such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge. Approximately 20-30% of patients who have a mammogram will require additional testing for the best evaluation. Ultrasound is also used to further examine dense breast tissue when necessary.
The sound waves used in the noninvasive exam are harmless, causing no pain or radiation exposure. Ultrasound is the primary imaging modality used to evaluate breast issues for those under the age of 30.
Who should get a breast ultrasound?
Your physician will let you know if you need a breast ultrasound.
How do I prepare for a breast ultrasound?
No preparation is necessary for this exam.
What should I expect during the exam?
An ultrasound technologist will perform the exam. The images will then be reviewed by a breast imaging physician who will determine if enough views have been acquired to make the most accurate evaluation.
During the exam, you will lie on your back or your side on an examination table with your arm raised above your head. A warm water-based gel is then put directly on the skin of the breast in the area that is being imaged. The gel will help the ultrasound probe glide smoothly and make good contact with your skin. The probe will be moved back and forth over the area of interest until the desired images are obtained.
How long does a breast ultrasound take?
Most ultrasound exams can be completed within 30 minutes, but can sometimes take up to an hour.
When will I get the results?
A radiology physician who specializes in breast ultrasound will evaluate your images and send a report to your doctor within 8-48 hours. Your doctor will discuss the results with you. You may also access and view your report by registering and logging in to our patient portal.
If your results show that further evaluation is needed, one of our breast care specialists will help you schedule a follow-up appointment.
For more information about this exam, please visit RadiologyInfo.org.