For most patients a mammogram is sufficient to examine the breast tissue, but an ultrasound examination may be needed to examine particularly dense breast tissue or give more information of an area identified on a mammogram. Breast ultrasound is also used as a screening tool for women who have a high risk of breast cancer or who have had a previous breast cancer not seen on mammography.
What are the risks?
The ultrasound machine uses harmless high frequency sound waves to produce images. There has been no known hazard from ultrasound during its use in medical diagnosis over 40 years. There is no discomfort with this method of examination, but it can add up to 20 minutes to the time needed for your mammogram.
After your examination the radiologist or radiographer will let you know whether you need to wait for more tests, or if your examination is completed.
The radiologist will send a written report on your examination to the doctor who referred you for the examination. You should contact your referrer and discuss the examination report with him or her.
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