Breast scans or ultrasounds are the primary imaging application for women under the age of 40 years and acts as an adjunct to mammography for women over the age of 40 years. Ultrasound detects & assesses tumours, cysts, abscess formation, inflammation and support biopsies.
A breast ultrasound scan can show all areas of the breast, including the area closest to the chest wall, which is hard to study with a mammogram. Breast ultrasound does not use X-rays or other potentially harmful types of radiation which is why it is suitable for younger patients. Younger patients also have dense breast tissue which mammograms find difficult to penetrate.
Breast ultrasounds are valuable diagnostic tools in assessing the following indications:
- Investigating a palpable lump
- Mammography abnormality
- Follow up of known lesion
- Mastalgia (breast pain)
- Nipple discharge
- Infection or mastitis (inflammation)
Wear a two-piece outfit so that it is easy to undress above the waist.
Scanning Technique / Procedure
The most common scanning technique is to initially scan using the grid scanning pattern, followed by a radial (clock face) technique for the hard copy imaging. Ultrasound gel is used for contact and the procedure is pain free.
a) Grid Scanning
The breast is scanned from the upper outer quadrant, scanning from top to bottom.
b) Radial Scanning
The breast is scanned in a clock-face radial method. The results are immediate and a written report will be given to you for your doctor.
The results are immediate and a report will be given to you. Keep this safe for future record purposes.
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