Breast ultrasounds may be used in addition to digital mammograms to further evaluate any abnormalities found on a mammogram. This imaging technique uses high-frequency sound waves instead of radiation to create images. Therefore, there are no known threats or risks to having a breast ultrasound. A breast ultrasound also can determine whether a tissue mass is fluid-filled or solid. Masses filled with fluid indicate cysts, whereas a solid mass indicates a tumor.
A breast ultrasound may be performed in addition to mammograms for several reasons:
- Evaluating fibrocystic or dense breasts often found in younger women
- Viewing cancerous tissue a mammogram may have missed due to silicone breast implants or dense breasts
- Investigating the cause of pain, redness, or swelling
- Monitoring a cyst for any changes, or guiding a needle to drain a cyst
Sentara Albemarle Medical Center is recognized as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The hospital earned the ACR Gold Standard of Accreditation in breast ultrasound (including ultrasound-guided breast biopsy), and all breast imaging staff and equipment are certified under the ACR accreditation.
If you are scheduled for a breast ultrasound and have any questions or concerns, please call (252) 384-5144 to speak to one of our highly skilled sonographers.