Ultrasound is commonly used to evaluate a palpable breast finding questioned on physical examination or to characterize an abnormality seen on mammography. It may also be used to further evaluate a suspicious finding on MRI, to evaluate nipple discharge, or for screening of high-risk women who have dense tissue on mammography.
Our ultrasound program is fully accredited by the American College of Radiology. We use high-resolution state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment, providing outstanding diagnostic detail of the breast. Our talented and experienced ultrasound technologists are trained to provide high-quality, compassionate care to our patients.
How Ultrasound Works
Ultrasound imaging or scanning uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a picture of the inside of a body part. A sound wave strikes an object and echoes or bounces back. Measuring these echo waves enables the ultrasound machine to create a picture of the object’s size, shape and consistency.
Why Physicians Use Ultrasound
Few other exams are as quick, inexpensive, painless and medically revealing as ultrasound. This noninvasive (no cutting, no injection) scanning exam gives a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on x-rays. The exam provides real-time imaging, making it a good tool for guiding minimally invasive procedures like biopsies and aspirations.
Preparing For Your Ultrasound Exam
Please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. To get a detailed picture, the machine needs a clear view of your skin. During a portion of the exam, you will need to remove all clothing on the part of your body that is being examined. You may be asked to wear a Radiology & Imaging gown or robe.
What an Ultrasound Exam is Like
For most exams, you will lie on your back on an exam table that can tilt and move. The technologist applies a clear water-based gel to the area of your body being studied. The gel helps the machine’s transducer make secure contact with your body. It also eliminates air pockets. The ultrasound technologist presses the transducer firmly against your skin and sweeps it over the study area. You can expect an ultrasound exam to take from 30 minutes to an hour.
In some ultrasound studies, the Radiology & Imaging technologist attaches the transducer to a probe that travels through a natural opening in the body. For example, in a transvaginal ultrasound, the transducer is inserted into the vagina.
Benefits & Risks
Standard diagnostic ultrasound has no known harmful effects. And the benefits are many. In the vast majority of cases, ultrasound:
- Causes no health problems
- Is noninvasive (no needles or injections)
- Does not expose you to any radiation
- Is painless
- Gives a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on x-rays
- Is widely available, easy to use and less expensive than other imaging methods
- May be repeated as often as necessary
- Is the preferred imaging modality for the diagnosis and monitoring of pregnant women and unborn babies
- Provides real-time imaging, making it a good tool for guiding minimally invasive procedures such as needle biopsies and needle aspiration
We Subspecialize In Reading Ultrasounds
Radiology & Imaging uses high-resolution, state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment. The diagnostic detail our equipment provides is exceptional. Having a radiologist, like ours, who subspecializes in reading ultrasound images means more expertise and experience is at work for you.
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