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Breast Ultrasound

Breast Ultrasound

Breast ultrasound is a safe, noninvasive test that uses sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of your breast. It’s primarily used to help diagnose breast lumps or other abnormalities your doctor may have found during a physical exam, mammogram or breast MRI.

What is a breast ultrasound?

To conduct a breast ultrasound, a gel is put on the skin of the breast and the technologist will use a handheld device called a transducer is moved over the skin. The transducer sends out sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off body tissues. The echoes are made into a picture on a computer screen. You might feel some pressure as the transducer is moved across the breast, but it should not be painful.

When would I need a breast ultrasound procedure?

A breast ultrasound is often performed as a follow-up to a mammogram and can help detect breast cancers that may not be visible with mammography. A doctor may order a breast ultrasound if a mammogram reveals breast abnormalities such as:

  • a lump in your breast
  • a tender or painful area in your breast
  • a change in texture or appearance of your nipple
  • unusual discharge from your nipple

Sometimes a breast ultrasound may be used instead of a mammogram to screen for breast cancer, including:

  • in pregnant people and people under age 25 years, who shouldn’t be exposed to radiation from a mammogram
  • in people who have dense breast tissue
  • check for leaks or other problems with breast implants

Breast ultrasounds do not replace mammograms.

Ultrasound is one of the tools used in breast imaging, but it does not replace annual mammography. Many calcifications visible on mammography are not visible on ultrasound. Biopsy may be recommended to determine if a suspicious abnormality is cancer or not.

At Gunnison Valley Health, we offer a complete range of breast imaging services for those who need a more in depth screen or further examination:

For more information, speak to your physician or contact Gunnison Valley Health's Diagnostic Imaging Department at (970) 641-7253.