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Breast ultrasound is usually reserved as an additional tool to work-up or characterize abnormalities felt, or found at mammography.

Most commonly, the ultrasound helps us distinguish cysts from solid masses. Cysts are extremely common, particularly with increasing age. They are non-cancerous fluid collections in the breast. Most resolve on their own. If large or painful, they can be aspirated for relief of symptoms. Some people have greater tendencies for developing cysts. Caffeine products are felt to aggravate fibrocystic disease.

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Ultrasound image demonstrates benign cyst of the breast (dark object in center).

Ultrasound can also be used to evaluate masses that can be felt by patients or their doctors. This is particularly helpful in patients younger than the screening age population (< 35 years old), or patients with dense breasts at mammography (nursing mothers or patients with known dense breasts at mammography).

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Ultrasound image demonstrates breast cancer, solid mass. Tumor is dark, irregular structure in center of image.

The breast ultrasound is a painless procedure. A gel is applied to the skin to allow the sound waves to transmit through the skin. A sonographer then scans with a transducer using light pressure.

Biopsies or cyst aspirations can be performed with ultrasound guidance by experienced physicians.

Other Services

Core Biopsy
Stereotactic and ultrasound guided needle biopsy of the breast as an alternative to open surgical biopsy - Our experience at Dean - St. Mary's

Screening Mammography
Mammography saves lives: Current recommendations, questions and controversies

Breast MRI
A useful tool in staging and workup in special circumstances. Potential help for women at high risk for breast cancer

Procedure to evaluate cause of nipple discharge

Breast Sentinel Node Mapping
Allows less extensive lymph gland removal during surgery for breast cancer

MRI of the Pelvis
The role of MRI in benign and malignant disease of the uterus, cervix and ovaries