Breast ultrasound scanning at The London Clinic

We offer breast ultrasound in addition to other imaging techniques to provide the most accurate diagnostic service possible.

For most women over the age of 35, a mammogram will be used together with breast ultrasound to investigate breast symptoms. For women under 35, breast ultrasound alone is often enough to determine whether a breast lump needs further investigation.

It is important to remember that most breast lumps in this age group turn out to be benign (non cancerous).

How does breast ultrasound scanning work?

Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of structures deep within the body. The ultrasound scanner sends out sound waves into the body that then bounce off tissues and organs. The sound waves come back to the receiver at different frequencies, and detecting these subtle changes allows the breast ultrasound machine to build up an accurate picture of what is inside the breast.

Why is breast ultrasound used?

Because it does not use X-rays (radiation), breast ultrasound is a safe diagnostic tool that can help determine whether an area of concern is normal breast tissue, a breast cyst or a solid mass that could be a breast tumour. Your consultant may use this technique to check an abnormality seen on a mammogram or an area of the breast in which a lump is found during a clinical examination.

When is breast ultrasound done?

  • On patients at any age to investigate a breast problem e.g. lump, lumpiness, texture change, nipple discharge
  • It is the first imaging test for pregnant or breast feeding women with symptoms
  • When there is an area on the mammogram that needs to be looked at more closely
  • To see if lumps are fluid-filled (cysts) or solid (benign/tumour)
  • To see if an area of thickening is breast tissue or a tumour
  • For breast implants to see the implant and overlying breast tissue
  • To investigate an abnormal area seen on MRI
  • To guide needle biopsy of breast lumps

Benefits of breast ultrasound imaging

  • It enables radiologists to have a clearer picture of the soft tissue so they can work out what is going on in the breast more easily
  • It may help detect and classify problems with the breast that are not easy to interpret using mammography alone. This is often the case in younger women who have dense breast tissue
  • It is pain-free and involves no needles, no injections and no ionising radiation
  • It allows real-time imaging. This helps with other diagnostic tests such as needle biopsies and fine needle aspirations
  • It can distinguish potential breast tumours from harmless breast lumps – these could be fat lobules or benign (non cancerous) breast cysts

Making an enquiry

For more information about a private ultrasound scan or mammogram at The London Clinic: