A breast ultrasound examination is not considered a screening test, but is a non-invasive investigative technology used for taking a closer look at areas of your breast that your doctor still has questions about after doing a mammogram and clinical breast exam. An ultrasound test may be useful if your mammogram shows an indistinct mass, or if a lump can be easily felt by the patient or during a clinical breast exam. It is used to decide if the lump is filled with fluid or is a solid mass. It may also be ordered if you have dense breast tissue and a mammogram does not show enough detail. A Breast Ultrasound does not replace the need for mammography. Mammogram images are still needed to evaluate the entire breast.
An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves that are transmitted through breast tissue from a hand-held unit called a transducer. These sound waves bounce off breast tissues. The “echoes” created as a result are then recorded by a computer that makes an image of the breast tissue and displays it on a monitor. No radiation is used, and very little pressure is required.
After check in, you will be escorted to a private dressing room where you will undress from your waist up and change in to a gown that opens in the front. Your exam will be performed by a mammography-certified, female technologist who will ask you questions to understand your history and/or any problems you may have. After entering the exam room and laying down on the table, a small hand held unit called a transducer is gently passed over the area to be examined. The sound waves will produce pictures on the monitor.
You will be asked to undress from the waist up and to wear a gown during the procedure. For your convenience and comfort, please wear two separate clothing pieces, a top and a bottom, to the exam that day.
If you have had a previous mammogram at a facility other than Touchstone Medical Imaging, please let us know so that we may obtain these films. It is extremely important for the radiologist to have your prior films for comparison, as it enhances the doctor’s ability to detect a subtle change or small abnormality on your current mammogram. Availability of prior films at your appointment also decreases the length of time it takes for you to get your results.
Wear two-piece clothing so that you only have to remove your top and bra for the examination. You will be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.
If your mammogram demonstrates that you have dense breast tissue, which could hide abnormalities, and you have other risk factors for breast cancer that have been identified, you might benefit from supplemental screening tests that may be suggested by your ordering physician. Dense Breast Tissue, in and of itself, is a relatively common condition. Therefore, this information is not provided to cause undue concern, but rather to raise your awareness and to promote discussion with your physician regarding the presence of other risk factors, in addition to dense breast tissue. A report of your mammography results will be sent to you and your physician. You should contact your physician if you have any questions or concerns regarding this report.