Thyra M. Humphreys Center for Breast Health

Breast Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a technique used for imaging soft tissues in the body. It is painless, noninvasive and involves no radiation.

High-frequency sound waves travel into the body and send back “echoes” to the transducer. These echoes form a picture on a monitor for the ultrasound technologist to view and image.

Why Did My Doctor Order a Breast Ultrasound?

Most likely breast ultrasounds are ordered for women who:

  • Have dense breasts
  • Are pregnant and need breast exams
  • Have cysts or other breast masses
  • Show indeterminate results on their mammograms

Why do I need both Mammogram and an Ultrasound?

Breast ultrasound is used together with mammography in determining many different types of breast abnormalities.

These abnormalities include:

  • Cysts
  • Fibroadenomas
  • Hematomas
  • Breast cancers 

Mammography may show an area of change, but ultrasound will give the additional information needed to decide what type of follow up is in the best interest of the patient.

Ultrasound may sometimes show palpable areas (that can be felt) that mammography does not detect.