An ultrasound, also known as a sonogram, is an imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to examine the breasts. Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, uses a powerful magnet linked to a computer to make detailed pictures of breast tissue. Dr. Malone, can you tell us more about these imaging tests?
Absolutely, Dr. Patel. During an ultrasound, the sound waves are transmitted through the breast. As they encounter areas of different density within the breast, the waves change speed or direction. These changes in the wave patterns are detected by the ultrasound machine, which turns the wave patterns into images of the breast that are displayed on a computer screen.
Breast ultrasound is often used to evaluate breast problems that are found during a mammogram or a physical exam. Ultrasound is useful for confirming the existence of some breast masses, and can also determine if a fluid-filled cyst is present.
Providers can view pictures from an MRI on a monitor or print them on film. MRI is sometimes used along with a mammogram.