Available at Red Bank and Tri-County

What is a breast ultrasound?

An ultrasound or sonogram is a medical test ordered by a qualified health-care professional. The actual test is usually performed by a sonographer or physician.

It is a method of obtaining images from inside the human body through the use of high frequency sound waves. The reflected sound wave echoes are picked up and converted by a computer into an image that is displayed on a computer screen. No radiation exposure occurs during this test.

An ultrasound test is painless, does not emit ionizing radiation, and is one of the safest diagnostic medical examinations available today.

You will lie on your back on a stretcher in the ultrasound room. The sonographer applies an odorless, colorless gel to the skin over the breast. This gel helps conduct sound waves from the ultrasound transducer down to the tissues that are the focus of the study. The sonographer applies the transducer to the skin and short pulses of ultrasound waves are emitted and received.

As the transducer is moved around, an image of the breast appears on a monitor. The sonographer then electronically stores what she considers to be the most diagnostically useful images. Selected images are used by an interpreting physician to make a final diagnosis.

Breast ultrasound is sometimes used to evaluate breast abnormalities that are found during mammography or a physical exam. Ultrasound is useful in determining the composition of a lump.

The breast ultrasound usually takes about 20-30 minutes to complete.