CDI Miami | Friday May 23, 2014

Breast Ultrasound Technology

Breast ultrasounds can assist in the diagnostic evaluation of breast tissue and abnormalities and is often used to assist in distinguishing between fluid and solid masses. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing a part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation, which are used in X-rays. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as the blood flowing through the blood vessels.

Ultrasound Miami imaging is a non-invasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Ultrasound imaging of the breast produces a picture of the internal structure of the breast. The Doppler method is a special ultrasound technique that calculates the blood flowing through blood vessels, including the body’s major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs, and neck.

During a breast ultrasound, the radiologist may use this Doppler technique to evaluate the blood flowing (or the lack of blood flowing) into any breast mass. In some cases, this provides information as to the cause of suspicious masses in the breast.

Breast ultrasounds are mainly used to help determine and diagnose breast masses and abnormalities found during physical exams. Ultrasound imaging will help to determine if a mass is solid and cancerous or cystic and benign. In some cases, ultrasounds help to provide additional information about breast abnormalities.

Ultrasounds can even substitute for mammography imaging in some cases because ultrasounds can detect small abnormalities that may not be visible with regular mammography or even 3D mammograms. This kind of ultrasound screenings are especially helpful for women with dense breasts, silicone breast implants, very little breast tissue, and those who are at a high risk for breast cancer.

In an ultrasound examination, a transducer sends the ultra-sound waves and records the echoing waves. When the transducer is pressed against the skin, it directs small pulses of inaudible, high-frequency sound waves into the body. As the sound waves bounce off of internal organs, fluids and tissues, the sensitive microphone in the transducer records tiny changes in the sound’s pitch and direction. These signature waves are instantly measured and displayed by a computer, which in turn creates a real-time picture on a monitor. Frames of the moving pictures are typically captured as still images.

Another kind of ultrasound, the Doppler ultrasound, measures the direction and speed of blood cells as they move through vessels. The movement of blood cells causes a change in pitch of the reflected sound waves (called the Doppler Effect.) A computer collects and processes the sounds and creates graphs or color pictures that represent the flow of blood through the blood vessels.

Ultrasounds are also useful for biopsy procedures. An ultrasound-guided biopsy requires no exposure to radiation as a radiologist uses sound waves to locate the suspicious breast mass. This procedure is very useful when suspicious changes can’t be detected with the use of a mammogram. This type of biopsy is a minimally invasive way to obtain a sample of breast tissue for further diagnosis, as well as a faster and less painful option than a traditional surgical breast stereotactic biopsy.

The Center for Diagnostic Imaging and the Comprehensive Breast Care Centers specialize in the early detection of breast cancer. They utilize the best digital medical imaging solutions available, to best help the needs of each individual.