How To Prepare
Wear a two-piece outfit so that it is
easy to undress above the waist.
Talk to your doctor
about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it
will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the
importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
A breast ultrasound is usually done by
a specially trained technologist.
You will be asked to undress
above the waist. You will be given a gown to drape around your shoulders.
Remove all jewelry from around your neck.
Gel will be put on your
breast so the transducer can pick up the sound waves as it is moved back and
forth over the breast. A picture of the breast tissue can be seen on a TV
A breast ultrasound test usually takes between 15 and 30
minutes. More time may be needed if a breast exam will be done or if a biopsy
is also planned. You may be asked to wait until a
radiologist has reviewed the pictures. The radiologist
may want to do more ultrasound views of some areas of your breast.
How It Feels
The gel may feel cold when it is put on
your breast. You will feel light pressure from the transducer as it passes over
your breast, but you should feel no discomfort unless your breast is tender
fibrocystic breast changes, an abscess, or another
infection. You will not hear the sound waves. A special Doppler ultrasound may
be used to check the blood flow to the breast; you can hear the sound waves
from this type of ultrasound.
There are no known risks in having a breast
ultrasound uses sound waves to make of picture of the
tissues inside of the breast.
radiologist may discuss the results of the ultrasound
with you right after the test. Complete results are usually available to your
doctor in 1 to 2 days.
- The breast tissue looks normal. If
the test is done on both breasts, the tissue looks similar.
- A fluid-filled sac (cyst) is present. A fluid-filled lump that is evenly
shaped and has no particles floating in it is likely to be a simple cyst. This
may not need more tests. See an ultrasound image of a
simple breast cyst.
- A cyst is found that has particles in it (a
complex cyst). This may need more tests.
- A lump is found that looks
solid. Depending on the lump, your age, and other medical factors, you may need
biopsy or follow-up with other tests.