Breast ultrasound is a diagnostic medical imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the breast tissue. It is a safe and non-invasive imaging method that can provide valuable information about the structure of the breast tissue, including the presence of any lumps, masses, or other abnormalities.
How it Works
During a breast ultrasound, the patient lies on an exam table, and a gel is applied to the skin over the breast area. A handheld transducer is then moved over the breast tissue, emitting high-frequency sound waves that bounce off the breast tissue and create images on a computer screen. The images can be used to identify any abnormalities in the breast tissue, such as cysts, masses, or other growths.
Uses and Benefits
Breast ultrasound is a valuable tool for detecting and diagnosing breast cancer, as well as other breast abnormalities, such as cysts, fibroadenomas, and other growths. It is often used in conjunction with mammography, which is another type of imaging test that uses X-rays to create images of the breast tissue. Breast ultrasound can also be used to guide biopsies, which are procedures that involve taking a small sample of breast tissue for analysis.
One of the main benefits of breast ultrasound is that it does not use ionizing radiation, which can be harmful in high doses. This makes breast ultrasound a safe and non-invasive imaging technique that can be used in patients who are pregnant or who have concerns about radiation exposure.
Breast ultrasound is a safe and non-invasive procedure, and there are typically no risks associated with the test. However, some patients may experience mild discomfort during the procedure, such as pressure or tenderness in the breast tissue.
What to Expect Before, During, and After the Procedure
Before the procedure, patients may be asked to wear a gown or remove any clothing that covers the breast area. Patients may also be asked to refrain from using deodorant, lotion, or other products on the breast area, as these can interfere with the quality of the images.
During the procedure, the patient will lie on an exam table, and the healthcare provider will apply a gel to the skin over the breast area. The transducer will then be moved over the breast tissue to create images of the breast tissue. The procedure typically takes 30 minutes to an hour to complete.
After the procedure, patients can resume normal activities immediately. The images will be analysed by a radiologist or other healthcare provider, who will then discuss the results with the patient. In some cases, further testing or follow-up may be recommended.
Breast ultrasound is a safe and non-invasive imaging technique that can provide valuable information about the structure of the breast tissue, including the presence of any lumps, masses, or other abnormalities. It is often used in conjunction with mammography to provide a more complete picture of the breast tissue.
While there are no significant risks associated with the procedure, patients may experience mild discomfort during the exam. As with any medical procedure, patients should discuss their options with their healthcare provider to determine if breast ultrasound is appropriate for their specific needs.