Your doctor might recommend an ultrasound procedure for examining your breast for any signs of abnormalities. If you are undergoing this procedure for the first time, it is obvious that you do not know what to expect. This post will give you an insight into how to prepare for your first ultrasound procedure and what to expect.
Ultrasound for breast – What does it mean?
Before knowing what to expect from your first ultrasound for breast procedure, you must know what it means.
Breast ultrasound deploys sound waves that are high frequency in nature. The specialist uses unique software to produce images in real-time of the tissues in the breast. You do not need to worry about the ultrasound procedure as it will not expose you to any sort of harmful radiation. In medical science, it is considered one of the safest kinds of medical imaging without any known side effects source.
Why is it conducted?
A doctor might recommend you to undergo a breast ultrasound to test a particular region of the breast. If you have had a mammogram recently, your doctor might refer you to have an ultrasound to closely evaluate a specific area of the breast in detail.
The procedure helps doctors determine the difference between a solid mass and a cyst filled with fluid. The breast ultrasound can also be conducted as a secondary screening test for women who have breast tissue that is quite dense.
How to prepare yourself for the day of the ultrasound?
On the day of the ultrasound, you may-
- Normally drink, eat, or take any prescribed medication as usual.
- Dress in clothes that are loose and comfortable. Doctors recommend you wear an outfit with two pieces so that you can just remove the top.
- Do not use any lotion or powder on your breasts on the day of the ultrasound.
- Besides the above, your doctor might give you extra instructions when it comes to your examination.
What happens during the procedure?
The nurse will ask you to remove any jewelry you might be wearing from above your waist. You will be asked to wear a hospital gown and need to lie either on your back or one side on the hospital table.
The specialist will apply a gel on the breast and place a transducer device over this gel. This device emits sound waves that travel through your body, and it bounces off all the structures in your breast only to return back to the transducer.
In the ultrasound for breast procedure, advanced software is used for processing the information. It produces images in real-time of your breast. The duration of the entire procedure generally lasts for about 30 minutes or so. You do not have to stay back at the clinic. You can start normal activities immediately once you are back home. When your scan is complete, your radiologist will give you the report and talk to you about the results. A final report is created, and this will be sent to your doctor in a few days after the procedure is completed.