Rhode Island Hospital
Providence, RI 02903
. . . . . .
The Miriam Hospital
164 Summit Avenue
Providence, RI 02906
Breast ultrasound is a minimally invasive test that's typically used to more closely examine areas of concern in the breast. It's especially useful when determining whether a lump is a cyst (sac containing fluid that can be drained) or a solid mass. It can also help locate the position of a known tumor and guide doctors during a biopsy. While an important diagnostic tool, breast ultrasound should not be used in place of a mammogram.
Breast ultrasound transmits high-frequency sound waves through the breast. As the sound waves bounce off tissue, air and fluid in the breast they create "echoes," which are recorded and transferred into computer images. Since the test does not use x-rays, you will not be exposed to radiation.
You will be asked to wear a hospital gown and you will lie on an examining table during the test. A small amount of gel will be applied to your skin, and an instrument resembling a miniature paddle will be pressed gently against your skin. You may be asked to hold your breath for brief periods. The procedure lasts about 10 minutes.