Breast Ultrasound

AT TOPS all Breast Ultrasounds are performed by one of our highly dedicated board certified breast radiologists.

A breast ultrasound uses harmless, high frequency sound waves to make a picture of the tissues inside the breast. The sound waves pass through the breast and bounce back or echo from various tissues to form a picture of the internal structures. It is not invasive and involves no radiation.   Breast ultrasonography is used as an adjunct to mammography to distinguish if a lump or mass is solid tissue or if it is simply a fluid-filled cyst. Breast ultrasound is done 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.
  • Check a breast lump found by self-examination, and/or to correlate finding on mammogram.
  • See whether a breast lump is solid or is fluid filled (a cyst).
  • In women, who are pregnant or should not to be exposed to x-rays (which is necessary for a mammogram).

How Should I Prepare?

  • Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit as you will be asked to undress from the waist up.
  • Eat a light meal prior to the procedure.
  • Do not wear deodorant, lotion, or powder on your breasts, chest or under arms the day of the procedure.

What Should I Expect?

In an ultrasound examination, a transducer both sends the sound waves and records the echoing waves. When the transducer is pressed against the skin, it directs small pulses of inaudible, high-frequency sound waves into the body.  These signature waves are measured and displayed by a computer, which in turn creates a real-time picture on the monitor. One or more frames of the moving pictures are typically captured as still images.

You will lie on your back with your arm raised above your head on the examining table. A clear water-based gel is applied to the area of the body being studied to help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin. One of our dedicated breast radiologists then presses the transducer firmly against the skin in various locations, sweeping over the area of interest or angling the sound beam from a farther location to better see an area of concern.

This ultrasound examination is usually completed within 30 minutes.

How Do I Get the Results?

Our dedicated breast radiologist will interpret your exam and will discuss the results of the test. The technologist who assists with the test cannot interpret or discuss what they are viewing while performing the exam. A report will be sent to your physician’s office to discuss results.