See how sound waves are used to diagnose abnormal breast masses or lumps.

Breast Ultrasound

What It Is
Breast ultrasound is a non-radiation, non-invasive imaging technique that uses sound waves to produce a picture of a suspicious area of the breast. Since it lets doctors see breast tissue differently, it’s often used alongside mammography to help make a diagnosis and does not replace mammograms. For example, it can show if a breast lump is filled with fluid (simple cyst) or if it is solid (mass), and can show blood flow to an area of the breast.

Who It’s For
A breast ultrasound is often ordered when an abnormality is felt or to help clarify abnormal results from a mammogram. This test is considered diagnostic when it’s used to help diagnose any abnormal finding of a physical exam, an irregularity on a mammogram, to help locate an abnormality found by breast MRI, or on very young or pregnant patients. It can also be used as a screening tool but is not generally recommended as a stand-alone test.

What To Expect
During this painless test, a technologist will have you lie still on your back and may ask you to raise your arm over your head or prop you up on one side. They will apply a gel that helps improve contact between the ultrasound device and your skin, then gently press and roll the transducer device over areas of the breast and underarm to obtain images.