Breast Ultrasound

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A breast ultrasound can help doctors find cancers hidden in dense breast tissue. This safe, non-invasive test gives us the ability to see and pinpoint issues missed by a mammogram.

Breast Ultrasound at UVA

At UVA Health, we have the latest technologies for finding breast cancer. We perform breast ultrasounds using a handheld scanner. It creates high-resolution ultrasound images.

The radiologists who look at your scans only focus on breast imaging. This high degree of specialization makes them experts. They have the experience and training to find cancer as early as possible.

Breast Ultrasound: Why, Who, & When

Lots of women have dense breast tissue. Your mammogram report will let you know if you have dense breasts. You might need to get a breast ultrasound if you:

  • Have dense breast tissue
  • Have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer
  • Have a change in your breast a mammogram doesn't see
  • Are at average risk
  • Need to avoid radiation used in regular mammograms, because you're pregnant
  • Have an allergy to the dye used in CEM

How Breast Ultrasound Works

Breast ultrasound screening is completely unlike a mammogram. Ultrasounds don't use X-rays that emit radiation. They use sound waves to produce images. Sounds waves are completely safe.

During a breast ultrasound, we move the ultrasound scanner across your breast. Each exam takes about 20 minutes. You'll:

  • Lay down, on your back, on an exam table
  • Get a layer of lotion applied
  • Not have any pain or need numbing

Getting Your Ultrasound Results

You'll get the results of your exam through MyChart and a letter. Sometimes, your provider will call you to talk about the scan results and your next steps.

Ask Your Provider About Breast Ultrasound

Breast ultrasound can find breast cancers that mammograms might miss. Talk to your doctor about which screening is best for you.