Breast ultrasound is the internal scanning of breasts using ultrasonic sound waves. The breast is a soft fatty tissue that is more vulnerable to tumour growth; doctors recommend ultrasound scans for breasts rather than other imaging scans to get a detailed insight into breast tissues and their anomalies. This article provides an overview of breast ultrasound, how it is done, why your doctor asks for a breast scan and the complications associated with the procedure.

Before going into the details of the breast ultrasound procedure, it is important to get some knowledge about breasts.

The breast, also known as a mammary gland, is the organ that secretes milk. A single breast consists of 15 -20 lobules with breast ducts that collectively drain the milk secretion into a milk reservoir in the nipples.

What Research says about Breast Ultrasound…

Different layers of a breast are characterised based on the echo of the sound waves generated by each layer during the ultrasound. Doctors use this characterization to identify which part of the breast is affected.

  1. 1. Hyperechoic –Skin, you will see white bands with a fibrous look
  2. 2. Hypoechoic- Fatty tissue, you will observe fat lobules
  3. 3. Hyperechoic –Breast parenchyma, a scan will show a soft tissue
  4. 4. Hypoechoic- Retromammary fat, these are also fat lobules
  5. 5. Hyperechoic- Pectoralis muscle is a fibrous tissue
  6.  

You must be wondering why your doctor asked for a breast ultrasound. Here is the answer

Doctors might ask for an ultrasound scan of breasts for the following reasons:

  1. 1. Lumps in breasts or Axillary lymphadenopathy: It is the condition in which women observe one or more lumps near the armpit region towards the breast. These lumps form due to enlarged lymph nodes in the underarm (axilla region). These lumps are often observed during mammogram imaging.
  2. 2. During chemotherapy: Doctors ask for an ultrasound as a follow-up for patients undergoing chemotherapeutic treatment for cancer.
  3. 3. Breast biopsy: Breast ultrasound in the ongoing procedure of percutaneous needle biopsy.
  4. 4. Nipple discharge: If the patient complains of nipple discharge, her doctor asks for an ultrasound to seek the reason behind it.
  5. 5. Palpable lump: Doctors may find a “palpable lump” during the physical evaluation of breasts. To detect the reason behind that lump or to ensure that it is not cancer, doctors recommend an ultrasound.
  6. 6. For pregnant women and during the period of lactation
  7. 7. Breast skin retracted
  8. 8. Nipple inversion- To find the cause of inverted nipple
  9. 9. Surgical scarring
  10. 10. To detect breast implant ruptures
  11. 11. To check the breast abnormality that is previously observed through mammography
  12. 12. In pre-menopausal ladies with some breast problems
  13.  

Breast Ultrasound Instrumentation

With the newer versions of ultrasound machines, there are always improvements in the equipment and their working and subsequently with the report clarity. There is various upgraded software in the diagnostic tool companies. While opting for a good diagnostic centre for your breast ultrasound, you must make sure that the laboratory is equipped with the latest technology, equipment and machinery to have the best results. You can opt for Glamyo health for an ultrasound scan.

5 Things to do Before your Breast Scan

  1. 1. Remove any ornament from the chest area.
  2. 2. Wear loose clothing
  3. 3. Be prepared to undress the upper abdomen area for a scan
  4. 4. There is no restriction for food and drinks unless stated by your doctor
  5. 5. Stay calm before and during the scan
  6.  

During breast scan

  1. 1. Lie on the table: As directed by the laboratory practitioner, you might be asked to lie on your back at the scan table or on the side to get a scan. You may be asked to hand raise during the scan.
  2. 2. A water-based gel is applied to the chest area to be scanned. This gel won’t harm you; it is used to make a smooth connection between the body and the transducer for clarity in the signals.
  3. 3. Stay calm and relax: Movements during the scan will cause blurry images, leading to false reports.
  4.  

Cost- Breast Ultrasound

Costs of ultrasound of breasts varies in different cities. Following table shows the average cost of breast ultrasound in different cities of India.

Name of city

Average cost of breast ultrasound in rupees

Allahabad

₹ 1610

  Bengaluru

₹ 1240

  Bhubaneswar

₹ 780

  Chandigarh

₹ 800

  Dehradun

₹ 1600

  Delhi

₹ 630

  Ghaziabad

₹ 1070

  Gurgaon

₹  1041

  Hyderabad

₹ 1010

  Kolkata

₹ 1200

  Mumbai

₹ 1600

  Patna

₹ 1870

  Pune

₹ 1250

  Rohtak

₹  1000

  Visakhapatnam

₹  1050

When to see a doctor

When a woman experiences some below-given problems on or inside her breasts, she must visit a doctor.

  1. 1. Lumps in breasts: If a woman observes one or more lumps near the armpit region towards the breast. 
  2. 2. Nipple discharge: If a patient complains of nipple discharge, some liquid is coming out from her nipples, then she must go for a breast ultrasound. 
  3. 3. For pregnant women and during the period of lactation
  4. 4. Breast skin retracted: If a woman observes her breast skin retracted
  5. 5. Nipple inversion- To find the cause of an inverted nipple.
  6. 6. Surgical scarring
  7. 7. In case of breast implant ruptures
  8. 8. Breast abnormality that is previously observed through mammography
  9. 9. In pre-menopausal ladies with some breast problems
  10.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What will happen after entering the breast ultrasound scan room?

  1. 1. Lie on the table: As directed by the laboratory practitioner, you might be asked to lie on your back at the scan table or on the side to get a scan. You may be asked to hand raise during the scan.
  2. 2. A water-based gel is applied to the chest area to be scanned. This gel won’t harm you and is used to make a smooth connection between the body and the transducer for clarity in the signals.
  3. 3. Stay calm and relax: Movements during the scan will cause blurry images, which will give false results.
  4. 4. A transducer is pressed over the chest area
  5. 5. Get the report.
  6.  

Q2. What will a breast ultrasound show?

The Breast ultrasound shows a detailed insight into breast tissues and their anomalies.

Q3. Can you determine breast cancer from an ultrasound?

Yes, breast cancer can be detected in breast ultrasound, even if it is a part of the follow-up diagnostic after chemotherapy.

Q4. Should I be worried about a breast ultrasound?

No, worries, relax while and before your ultrasound. The breast ultrasound procedure is not risky and is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that is not painful.

Q5. Can you tell if a lump is cancerous from an ultrasound?

Yes, breast lump can be detected through ultrasound whether it is cancerous.

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