A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to produces a picture of the tissues inside the breast. This image can show all areas of the breast, including the area closest to the chest wall, which is hard to study with a mammogram.
Emerson Hospital has a team of expert sonographers with experience in breast imaging. Breast ultrasound is available at the Hermel Breast Health Center in Concord and Emerson’s Westford Health Center in Westford.
Why breast ultrasound is performed
Breast ultrasound is primarily used to help diagnose breast lumps or other abnormalities your doctor may find during a physical exam, mammogram or breast MRI. A breast ultrasound can help determine whether a breast lump is filled with fluid (a cyst) or if it is a solid lump.
Importantly, ultrasound doesn’t replace the need for a mammogram, but can provide additional information when there are abnormal results from a mammogram.
What a breast ultrasound involves
When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll be given a gown and asked to remove neck jewelry and clothing from the waist up. To make this easier, we suggest wearing a two-piece outfit that day.
During the exam, you’ll lie on an exam table and a specially trained Emerson sonographer will apply gel to your breasts (this eliminates any air pockets between your skin and the device), then press a small hand-held transducer against your skin and move it over the area being examined.
The transducer sends information to a computer, which produces detailed images based on the patterns created by the sound waves.
If further intervention is needed, the next step is usually an ultrasound-guided needle biopsy (available in Concord).
An ultrasound exam is generally a painless procedure, and a typical exam takes from 30 minutes to an hour. You’re free to resume all normal activities after your test.
To Schedule an appointment
To schedule an appointment for a breast ultrasound, please call 978-287-3003