Breast Ultrasound to Detect Breast Abnormalities

A breast ultrasound examination is an investigative technology that is used to evaluate breast abnormalities that are found during a clinical breast exam or after doing screening mammography or diagnostic mammography. This imaging technique allows significant freedom in obtaining images of the breast from any orientation. Breast ultrasound can image different types of breast conditions, including both benign and malignant lesions.

This imaging technique can be particularly useful in detecting breast abnormalities in patients with dense breasts. Dense breasts may make it difficult to spot on a mammogram film. If the mammogram shows an indistinct mass or if a lump is felt during a clinical breast exam, an ultrasound test can be used.

Breast ultrasound uses high- frequency sound waves that are transmitted through breast tissue from a hand-held transducer. These sound waves bounce–off breast tissues creating echoes that are recorded by the computer. The computer forms an image out of those echoes and displays it on a monitor. Sharp images produced by this technique allow the doctor to distinguish between a fluid -filled cyst and a solid mass. Often mammogram is followed by ultra-sound examination if the doctor suspects breast abnormalities that might be cancerous. This technique can be used to guide the doctor during breast biopsy.

Some of the advantages of this investigative technology are as given below:
  • High-contrast images
  • No radiation
  • Less expensive than CAT scan or Breast MRI
  • No compression, pain-free
  • Can image non palpable masses
Breast ultrasound is usually performed by a skilled operator who can examine suspect areas of the breast by positioning the transducer in different angles in order to capture best images.

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