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Breast Ultrasound Exam Prep
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What is a Breast Ultrasound?
A breast ultrasound is a safe, painless procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the internal structures of your breast and axilla (armpit).
During an ultrasound exam, the technologist will place warm, water-based gel directly on your skin and then use a small transducer or probe to pass over the area. The transducer transmits high-frequency sound waves through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image.
A breast ultrasound exam can be used for either screening or diagnostic purposes. Your practitioner may request an ultrasound if you, or your practitioner, feel a lump or you are having pain and tenderness that is not usual for you. It can also be used as a screening tool for women who are pregnant or should not be exposed to x-rays (necessary for a mammogram) or have very dense breasts.
What to expect
- You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and to change into a gown.
- Your breast area will need to be visible for the exam. This allows our technologist to move the transducer around the entire breast and surrounding tissue, including the axilla (armpit) to provide the radiologist with a complete set of images.
- The radiologist will review the images and compare them to previous ultrasounds or mammograms.
The radiologist will provide a complete report to your practitioner, usually within 24 hours.