At Geelong Breast Clinic we offer a breast ultrasound service which allows for “real time” imaging of the breast.
An ultrasound scan uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of the breast using a small transducer which is runned over the skin with some gel. An ultrasound allows “real time” imaging of the breast – moving images. This enables doctors to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions.
Breast ultrasound is a simple and non-invasive procedure that is used to diagnose and detect lumps, areas of pain, swelling or infection, and assess them in real time. At the Geelong Breast Clinic, breast ultrasound examinations are carried out by a sonographer (a technologist trained in ultrasound imaging) who is accredited by the Australian Sonographer Accreditation Registry (ASAR). All examinations are then interpreted by a radiologist (a medical doctor specializing in the interpretation of medical images).
Read all the instructions given to you by your doctor or provided by us, as you may be required to fast depending on the type of imaging. Wear clothing that will provide easy access to the area requiring imaging. Please bring any previous, relevant examinations for comparison. If you have diabetes, or you are on any medication, please contact us to check special preparation instructions, and our staff will advise of any specific preparation.
A female sonographer will perform your examination in a darkened room so that she can see the images clearly on the screen. You will generally be asked to change into a gown and lie down on the ultrasound table. A clear, water based gel will be spread over the skin and a transducer gently rubbed over the breast to take a series of pictures. The gel will not stain your clothing.
On occasion, a radiologist may need to speak with you and perform some ultrasound scanning as well, in order to clarify what has been shown in the images and ensure the question asked by your referring doctor is answered accurately.
Most breast ultrasound examinations are completed within 15-20 minutes.
After the examination is complete, the sonographer will discuss your images with the radiologist. The radiologist may then come into the room to check the findings and in most cases will be able to tell you the result of your scan after that.
Our radiologist will provide your referring doctor with a comprehensive report about the findings. It is very important you book a timely follow-up appointment with your referring doctor or health care provider to discuss your results.
Some scans find changes that will require biopsy and in most cases we will be able to discuss this with you and perform the biopsy at the same time.
Ultrasound is a safe examination which provides excellent imaging without any known risks. There are no known side effects from having a diagnostic ultrasound scan performed for medical imaging purposes. Your Sonographer will apply techniques to ensure that your scan is a safe procedure. For this reason, your scan should only be performed by an accredited sonographer, or trained medical practitioner, and a scan should only be performed when clinically indicated.
Not all causes of pain show on ultrasound, so further testing may be required. Ultrasound does not involve ionising radiation, making it ideal for pregnant women, their babies, and children. The sonographer will set the equipment to the lowest intensity necessary to achieve high quality images. The results of your scan will be sent directly to your referring Doctor, and it is very important you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results.