Ultrasound machines are used for a variety of body parts, depending on the current status of the patient and the symptoms presented. Breast ultrasound is a must, especially for women, to detect different conditions like cancer. Early detection can be beneficial and can ensure successful and speedy recovery. There are some guidelines that you need to follow first to have the most comfortable experience.
Breast Ultrasound Imaging
Ultrasound of the breast will show the internal structures and other objects in the breast. The procedure is non-invasive, painless and requires you to expose the area to be examined to high-frequency sound vibrations so that accurate and clear pictures can be taken. The process does not involve ionizing radiation and is considered very safe and effective. The physician or sonographer conducting the test may use Doppler techniques during breast ultrasound test to view whether or not blood flow is moving properly in the areas. Masses generally will lack blood flow, which will give doctors more ideas on the possible cause.
Some Uses of Breast Ultrasound
The diagnostic test will determine the features and nature of breast anomalies. Primarily, breast ultrasound machines aid health professionals diagnose abnormalities in the breast that may be found in general physical exam. The ultrasound can also characterize possible anomalies found on mammography.
The images shown can help identify if the abnormality is solid or fluid-filled. This way, doctors can see if the lump or tumor is cancerous or not. In some cases, the abnormality may be both solid and cystic. Ultrasound can also effectively present added features of the odd area. Blood supply in breast lesions can be evaluated using Doppler ultrasound.
Breast Ultrasound Tips
You will be asked to take your clothes off from the waist up and wear a gown for the procedure. The ultrasound machines will consist of a console having electronics and a computer, a transducer that scans the blood vessels and body and a video display screen. The transducer looks like a microphone attached to the scanner via a cord. The transducer is responsible for sending out high frequency sound vibrations into the body and will get information from the echoes returning from the body tissues.
The ultrasound images will appear on a screen looking like a TV monitor. The amplitude or strength and time for the sound waves to the transducer will produce the image. The process uses the same principles used in ships. Doppler ultrasound is a special application which determines the speed and direction of blood cells as this flows through the vessels. The motion of blood cells leads to a pitch change of the reflected sound waves. The computer will gather and process the sounds to make pictures and graphs to show the flow of blood.
About the Procedure
During breast ultrasound, you will be asked to lie on your back, with your arm up above your head on the table. Clear gel will be placed on the area to be studied to securely guide the transducer and make sure that it is directly in contact with your body. The transducer will be pressed against the skin and swept back and forth over the area. During Doppler sonography, the same transducer is used. You will be asked to dress and wait for the ultrasound results.
The entire diagnosis takes about 30 minutes. Afterwards, you can walk right out of the clinic and return to your next activity or may be asked to return to the ultrasound machines.