An automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) uses high frequency sound waves to take 3D images of the whole breast, targeting specific areas and ensuring they are displayed in a reproducible fashion. It is especially beneficial to women with dense breast tissue, because a high breast density (Volpara) score can make a mammogram harder to read and ABUS allows the technologist to check the breast from a variety of angles offering more accurate interpretations.
ABUS is a fast and almost painless procedure which can look at both breasts in about 15 minutes. It’s often recommended as supplemental screening in conjunction with a screening mammography for women with extremely dense breast tissue (Volpara D), and women with heterogeneously dense breast tissue (Volpara C) combined with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, child) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. For more information about breast density, read our article What are Dense Breasts?
We do our best to have our radiologists interpret the information and forward the results to your doctor by the next business day.
This exam is covered under your Alberta Health Care Plan. It is not currently offered at our Saskatchewan clinics.