What is a Breast Ultrasound?
A breast ultrasound is a non-radiation, non-invasive imaging technique that relies on sonar technology (sound waves) and is often used in conjunction with a diagnostic mammogram where an abnormality, like a lump or mass, was detected. Breast ultrasounds can determine if a lump or mass is fluid-filled or solid. Fluid-filled cysts are typically benign (non-cancerous), but they can be quite tender. Draining the fluid, with a procedure called cyst aspiration, may alleviate symptoms. If a lump or mass is found to be solid, a breast biopsy may be recommended.
All breast ultrasounds at the breast center are performed in private suites by female technologists.
What Will the Exam Be Like?
A technologist, called a sonographer, will ask you to lie still on your back. You may be asked to raise your arm over your head or be propped toward one side during the exam. She will then apply a gel that is used to help improve the contact between the hand-held ultrasound transducer and the skin. The technologist will obtain images by gently pressing and rolling the transducer over areas of the breast or underarms. Breast ultrasound exams are generally painless. If you have questions about your exam, do not hesitate to ask the technologist. It’s important that you are informed.
What Do I Need To Do Before My Exam?
Please wear a comfortable, loose fitting two-piece outfit as you will be asked to remove your top prior to the exam. A soft robe will be provided for your comfort. Please refrain from wearing any powder, perfumes, deodorant and/or lotions on your underarms and breasts as they can interfere with the images. A moist towelette will be provided if you need it and deodorant will be supplied to you after your exam.
How and When Will I Learn About My Results?
One of the breast center’s board-certified radiologists who specializes in breast imaging will interpret your exam. You will be informed before leaving your appointment whether or not further testing is required. A report will be finalized within 24 hours and sent to your referring health care provider.
Under the 21st Century Cures Act, we are required by law to provide you access to your results within 24 hours of them being finalized. Unfortunately, this means you could receive your results prior to receiving communication from our team.
If you have questions about your exam results at the Carol Milgard Breast Center, you should call your personal physician or health care provider rather than the breast center.
The Carol Milgard Breast Center is fully accredited in breast ultrasound by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR only grants the gold seal of accreditation when a breast center provides patients the highest level of image quality and patient safety.