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DIAGNOSTIC BREAST ULTRASOUND

A diagnostic breast ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to see the internal structure of your breast. It is often requested to investigate symptoms, like pain or lumps, or to examine a specific area of concern. If you have high breast density, it may also be recommended as a supplemental exam to a mammogram.

It can include an automated breast ultrasound (ABUS), which takes 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 (Volpara scores C and D), because it allows the technologist to check the breast from a variety of angles offering more accurate interpretations.

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAM?

  • If you experience breast tenderness, do not consume caffeine in the days leading up to the exam.
  • Schedule your appointment one week after your last menstruation to decrease breast tenderness.
  • Please tell us if you have any problems moving or if you have shoulder or chest pain.
  • For a breast ultrasound alone, you may wear deodorant or antiperspirant.
  • Wear a two-piece outfit (e.g., shirt and pants), so you can change for the exam more comfortably.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow enough time to check in with reception.
  • Bring photo identification and your provincial health card.
  • Take all prescribed medications as directed.
  • Please do not bring children who require supervision.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY EXAM?

  • You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and given a robe.
  • Your breast area will need to be visible for the exam. This allows the sonographer to scan the entire breast and surrounding tissue, including the axilla (armpit).
  • The sonographer will move the probe around the breast to provide a complete set of images.
  • The radiologist will review the images and compare to previous ultrasounds or mammograms.
  • In some cases, the sonographer may ask the radiologist to come into the exam room to review an area identified in the breast. This does not mean that something is wrong.

WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?

We do our best to have our radiologists interpret the information and forward the results to your doctor by the next business day.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

This exam is covered under your Alberta Health Care Plan. It is not currently offered at our Saskatchewan clinics.

**Please note that ABUS exams are only offered at our Market Mall, Mayfair Place, Southcentre, and The CORE locations.

FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Please ensure that you bring your requisition with you to your appointment.

DURATION

1 breast: up to 30 minutes
2 breasts: up to 60 minutes