Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to make a picture of the breast tissue. Ultrasound is a common and entirely safe and painless test. If you bring a friend or relative with you to clinic they can also come in while you have the scan if you wish.
If you are having an ultrasound scan you will be asked to lie on a couch and the area of concern will be examined using a small hand-held probe with a water-based gel on it. This is the same type of test that women have when they are pregnant to see the baby and doesn’t involve any exposure to radiation. The ultrasound scan usually takes around 5-10 minutes to carry out and during the test the lights in the room will be dimmed slightly.
Sometimes the person doing the ultrasound scan may also carry out a biopsy, and if so they may also carry out a scan to check the lymph nodes in your armpit.
You will be given the results of a breast ultrasound straight away, but if any biopsy is taken the result of this will not be available for a few days, and we will explain to you how you will get that result.