A patient is referred for an ultrasound of the breast after an abnormal mammogram or if the patient has a palpable lump discovered on physical exam. The role of ultrasound in evaluating the breast is primarily to determine whether a breast lesion is a simple cyst or a solid mass. A mammogram may reveal an abnormality and a breast ultrasound can then determine if it is a cystic or solid lesion. Cysts are benign, whereas solid masses can be malignant, so biopsies of solid lesion may be necessary. Sound Health Imaging, Inc. employs only ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography) certified sonographers in breast ultrasound.
Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Ultrasound
Do I need to avoid deodorant, powder and perfumes before my breast ultrasound?
Unlike a mammogram, there is no prep for an ultrasound of the breast, so it is acceptable to use deodorants, lotions, creams or powders prior to your exam.
Can I just get an ultrasound and skip my screening mammogram?
NO! Ultrasound is not reliable for screening the breast for abnormalities. Mammograms are considered the “gold standard” for early detection of breast cancer.
If I have had a mammogram why do I need an ultrasound?
An ultrasound is recommended when an abnormal area is demonstrated on your mammogram. Many times a mammogram will reveal a questionable area in the breast. Ultrasound is used to determine if the abnormality on the mammogram is a cystic or solid structure. Cysts are considered benign, but solid structures will require further follow up.
Why do you not look at the entire breast, only the lump?
Ultrasound is not a good screening tool, but only used to evaluate palpable lumps or to compliment a mammogram.
I feel a lump, so you should definitely be able to see it with the ultrasound, right?
Ultrasound is very good at visualizing cysts within the breast. Many palpable breast lumps are benign cysts easily visualized on ultrasound. When a lump is palpated, but nothing is visualized on ultrasound it means that no cyst was identified. Many times solid lumps are not visible by ultrasound because they blend in with the surrounding tissue.
How do I schedule my ultrasound appointment at Sound Health Imaging?
You have a choice where your ultrasound is done. Tell your healthcare provider that you would like to have your ultrasound scheduled at Sound Health Imaging. Or you can call our office and make your ultrasound appointment and then bring your Doctor’s order with you at the time of exam.
Are you a network provider for Blue Cross and Blue Shield and New West Insurance companies?
Yes, we are premium providers for both Blue Cross and New West and bill all major insurances including Medicaid and Medicare.
Is the Radiologist who reads the exam a network provider?
Sound Health Imaging contracts with Capital Radiology to interpret the ultrasound exams. We pay the radiologist for the interpretation, so the patient does not get a second bill from interpreting physician.
How long does it take for my doctor to get the results of my exam?
Our goal is for your referring health care provider to receive the Ultrasound report the next business day following your appointment.