Breast Ultrasound
Novant Health | UVA Health System | IMAGING

Breast Ultrasound

What is a breast ultrasound?

Typically, breast ultrasound is a painless test that uses reflected sound waves to enable us further evaluate a breast abnormality or a specific area detected during a mammogram. With ultrasound, we can locate and measure abnormalities or changes to determine if a breast lump is solid or fluid-filled. Ultrasound can also be used to guide breast interventional procedures, such as needle localization, during breast biopsies and removal of fluid from a cyst.

Preparing for a breast ultrasound

You should wear a blouse or top that will be easy to remove for the exam.

You will be asked to complete a series of questions about your medical history and breast health.

You will also need to notify your technologist if you have breast implants.

What to expect during a breast ultrasound exam

The Ultrasound machine does not confine, enclose, surround or rotate around your body. Your breast will be gently scanned by moving a transducer across your breast with gel. The gel creates a secure contact to eliminate air pockets between your skin and the transducer. It is not generally painful.

When your exam is complete you may leave and resume your regular activities.


A radiologist will review your exam images and report the findings to your doctor. Also, a result letter will be mailed to you.