London Private Ultrasound offers breast scans to male and female patients over 18 years old. You do not need a referral to have your breast scan done.
You will be recommended to do a breast scan to:
a) Determine the nature of a breast abnormality
The primary use of breast ultrasound is to help diagnose breast abnormalities detected by you or your physician during a physical exam or to characterize potential abnormalities seen on mammography.
Ultrasound imaging can help to determine if an abnormality is solid (which may be a non-cancerous lump of tissue or a cancerous tumor) or fluid-filled (such as a benign cyst). Ultrasound can also help show additional features of the abnormal area.
b) Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy
When an ultrasound examination cannot characterize the nature of a breast abnormality, your clinician may choose to perform an ultrasound-guided biopsy. Because ultrasound provides real-time images, it is often used to guide biopsy procedures.
A breast biopsy involves removing some cells, either surgically or in a less invasive procedure involving a needle, from the suspicious area in the breast and examining them under a microscope to determine a diagnosis.
Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound imaging of the breast produces a picture of the internal structures of the breast.
You will be asked to lie on your back with your arm raised above your head on the examining table. A clear gel is applied to the area of the body being studied to help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin. The clinician then presses the transducer firmly against the skin and sweeps it back and forth over the area of interest until the desired images are captured.
This ultrasound examination is usually completed within 30 minutes.
Ultrasound is a safe and painless procedure that uses sound waves to “see” inside your body. The scan can help examine any lumps or unusual findings you or your doctor may have found.
Ultrasound is most suited to identify fluid-filled spaces such as cysts (cysts are masses that are definitely not cancer, as distinguished from other masses that may or may not be cancer). Ultrasound is also useful for examining both silicone and saline breast implants.
It is important that the imaging physician have any previous ultrasound or mammograms available for comparison when reading your current ultrasound. Please bring any previous ultrasound report or mammogram films with you on the day of your exam.
It is suggested that you do not schedule your breast ultrasound one week before your menstrual cycle, as your breasts are usually very sensitive at this time.
If your doctor gave you a referral, please bring it with you.
You will be asked to lie on your back on the examination table with your hands at your sides.
A warm gel, very similar to hair-styling gel, will be applied to your breast. The gel will help the sound waves to travel from the machine into your breast.
A transducer, a small device similar to a microphone, will be placed over your breast. This will be painless, although you may feel mild pressure from the transducer.
The images will appear on the monitor. These moving images may be viewed immediately or photographed for further study.
Your exam will take approximately 30 minutes.
Sound waves will bounce off the different tissues in your breast. These waves will create “echoes.” The echoes are reflected back to the transducer, which converts them to electronic signals. A computer then processes the signals into pictures and shows them on a television monitor.
You will receive your results verbally after the scan. However, the Clinician will examine the relevant images after your appointment and prepare a written report after your scan or within 24 hours with any recommended actions. The report will be sent to you so that you can discuss the findings with your doctor if required.
There are no risks or side effects associated with the Abdominal ultrasound scan. Ultrasound does not use any radiation.