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Doctor insights on: Why Do I Need An Ultrasound After A Mammogram

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Dr. Michael Gabor
2,275 Doctors shared insights

Sonogram (Definition)

An ultraound, also known as a sonogram, is a painless and relatively inexpensive imaging test that utilizes sound waves instead of ionizing radiation. There are no side effects. Ultrasound can give us two-dimensional, and in some applications three-dimensional, images of structures and organs in virtually any part of the body. In addition to diagnostic uses, such as evaluating abnormalities in the abdomen, pelvis, and breast, ultrasounds are commonly used to guide needle and catheter placement in a variety of surgical ...Read more


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Why do a breast ultrasound after a mammogram? Does it mean there’s something abnormal in my breast, or was the mammogram just not clear? My doctor won’t talk to me until after the ultrasound, but i’m worried now.

Why do a breast ultrasound after a mammogram? Does it mean there’s something abnormal in my breast, or was the mammogram just not clear? My doctor won’t talk to me until after the ultrasound, but i’m worried now.

It means that: There was an abnormality or potential abnormality on the mammogram that required additional evaluation or confirmation with ultrasound. Or, if you have dense breasts, screening ultrasound may be performed as an adjunct test even if the mammo shows no abnormality. ...Read more

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What is the difference between an mammogram and a ultrasound?

What is the difference between an mammogram and a ultrasound?

Mammo vs ultrasound: A mammogram is a low dose X-ray of the breasts. An ultrasound utilizes sound waves to generate images. ...Read more

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With a mammogram is it normal to have to have an ultrasound? I cannot afford it.

With a mammogram is it normal to have to have an ultrasound? I cannot afford it.

Sometimes: Not all radiographic testing is 100% diagnostic. Sometimes you need additional testing to see areas of the breast more clearly. I would discuss this with your physician if they fell that the ultrasound is necessary. If it was me, I would want everything possible to do a full evaluation. ...Read more

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What good is a mammogram if ultrasounds find more abnormalities? Such as cysts, etc.

What good is a mammogram if ultrasounds find more abnormalities? Such as cysts, etc.

They don't: Screening mammography finds many more breast cancers than ultrasound. Ultrasound will not see calcifications which seen easily on mammograms and are often due to the earliest form of breast cancer. Ultrasound is used primarily to tell if a lump is a simple cyst (in which case it is safe to ignore it) or a solid mass (in which case it may need to be biopsied to prove that it is not cancer.). ...Read more

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I had a mammogram now they want to do a ultrasound to be sure. What do u think about that..

I had a mammogram now they want to do a ultrasound to be sure. What do u think about that..

Complete the workup: You do not know yet. What is true:

mammogram was not completely normal.

Therefore, you need additional testing to try to determine the cause and importance of the finding.

First step would be spot mammograms and an ultrasound of the area, which will probably be ok.

If not ok, then mri, and a biopsy may eventually be necessary to look at the cells under a microscope and make the diagnosis. ...Read more

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What is a Bilateral ultrasound. I received a letter that I have it done after I had a mammogram?

What is a Bilateral ultrasound. I received a letter that I have it done after I had a mammogram?

Both breasts: Bilateral means both sides. If after a mammogram of both breasts a bilateral ultrasound is recommended, an ultrasound on both breasts is what they suggest to do. ...Read more

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What happens if an ultrasound scan seems clear is it possible that a mammogram will still show a problem?

What happens if an ultrasound scan seems clear is it possible that a mammogram will still show a problem?

Yes,: They are complementary tests. At times an abnormality will be seen on one, and not the other. In particular, mammographic microcalcifications, which can be a sign of cancer, are difficult to discern on an ultrasound. ...Read more

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Help!! did mammogram and was normal. No ultrasound done. Still have pain. Feel something hard. What to do?

Clinical breast exam: Have you had your doctor do a clinical breast examination (CBE)? A mammogram should always be accompanied by a breast examination done by a health care professional as the mammogram will miss 10 % of breast lumps. If you and your doctor feel a lump, it must be checked further with an ultrasound and a biopsy of the lump is also a must if the lump is confirmed by your doctor ...Read more

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Had a normal mammogram but nothing was said about a follow up ultrasound. I thought you needed both under 50? do I need one?

You don't: Need both unless you have a lump, abnormal mammogram, or other breast symptom. If you had a normal mammogram, the only potential indications for ultrasound would be if you had dense breasts (and therefore the sensitivity of your mammogram for picking up cancers was diminished) or were at very high risk for breast cancer. In these circumstances, however, the science isn't settled. ...Read more

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How often are ultrasounds ordered the same time a mammogram is?

How often are ultrasounds ordered the same time a mammogram is?

Ultrasound: With the recognition of breast density as a risk factor for breast cancer, and the limitations of mammo in the setting of dense breasts, it is becoming more and more common for adjunct screening breast ultrasounds to be requested in addition to screening mammograms. The traditional role of ultrasound, as a problem solving tool and biopsy facilitator, is changing. So this is an evolving situation. ...Read more

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Calcifications found in mammogram - should I get an ultrasound?

Calcifications found in mammogram - should I get an ultrasound?

Depends: Calcifications are not seen on an ultrasound. If you have a lump, then an ultrasound is helpful. You may need a biopsy to determine if the calcifications are cancerous or not. Speak to your doctor and radiologist for guidance. ...Read more

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Why do I have to have a mammogram instead of an ultrasound or a thermogram?

Why do I have to have a mammogram instead of an ultrasound or a thermogram?

Because it's best!: Your best chance of early detection of a breast cancer is with mammography. Ultrasound is helpful for evaluating lesions detected by mammography or physical exam but not for screening. Thermography's role is less clear. So, if you are going to be screened, you should use the modality that has been shown time and time again to reduce mortality from breast cancer - mammography. ...Read more

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I had an ultrasound because my mammogram found cysts. What that overtesting?

I had an ultrasound because my mammogram found cysts. What that overtesting?

Not overtesting: Mammography cannot determine if a nodule or nodular density is a solid mass or a cyst. Ultrasound is necessary to make that distinction. ...Read more

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I just had a mammogram and ultrasound. Why would the doctors want to do an ultrasound on me?

I just had a mammogram and ultrasound. Why would the doctors want to do an ultrasound on me?

Different view: An ultrasound is commonly added to mammogram in women with young, dense breast tissue. The ultrasound can give a different view of the breast tissue. It can determine if a solid mass or cyst is present. The radiologist usually comes in to speak with you during the exam and answers questions. ...Read more

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I had both the same day, and the mammogram come back normal, but the ultrasound came back abnormal? Which one is more accurate?

I had both the same day, and the mammogram come back normal, but the ultrasound came back abnormal? Which one is more accurate?

Different: Mammogram and ultrasound look at different qualities. Mammogram is good at seeing tissue that is more dense than surrounding tissue and for calcifications. Ultrasound is good at seeing the whether those tissues are solid or fluid-filled or both. The two together, in addition to the physician's exam, help to create a more complete picture. Trust in your doctor to interpret these findings for you. ...Read more

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After a diagnostic mammogram & ultrasound, there is still concern from my dr. I have a diagnostic ultrasound tomorrow. Is this normal?

After a diagnostic mammogram & ultrasound, there is still concern from my dr. I have a diagnostic ultrasound tomorrow. Is this normal?

If you already: Had a diagnostic mammo/ultrasound workup, it should have been evaluated by the radiologist while you were there, so it is somewhat unusual to be called back to repeat the ultrasound. However. It occasionally happens. ...Read more

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Bi Rads 3 after diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. Follow up in 6 months. Should I have 2nd opinion to make sure Bi Rads 3 is accurate.

If you: Have questions or doubts about the report, try discussing it with your doctor and/or the interpreting radiologist. If you are not satisfied, you can always seek a second opinion. ...Read more

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Which test is better for finding cancers, a mammogram or an ultrasound?

Mammogram: Mammograms are excellent for finding any abnormality in the breast, and thus are best as a screening test for cancer. Ultrasounds are most useful after finding an abnormality on mammogram or examination; we can then direct the ultrasound to the area in question to help determine if it is worthy of biopsy or observation. ...Read more

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Is it normal for an ultrasound be done immediately after a mammogram if a mass shows up.

Is it normal for an ultrasound be done immediately after a mammogram if a mass shows up.

It depends: It depends on the workflow of the facility. Some may have immediate interpretations, with the availability of ultrasound before the patient leaves. Others may not be able to accomodate the ultrasound right away, and might have to schedule it for another day. In any case, it is fairly standard to get an ultrasound to evaluate a mass, it is variable as to whether the US can be done immediately. ...Read more

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I had my first mammogram and they called me back for an ultrasound. What could be the reason?

I had my first mammogram and they called me back for an ultrasound. What could be the reason?

Very common: Ultrasound is often used to evaluate densities seen on a mammogram. Most often a round density on a mammogram is a benign cyst or benign breast tumor called a fibroadenoma. If the ultrasound suggests an alternative diagnosis it can be used to guide biopsy. Basically it is a second test used to provide additional information. ...Read more

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I get annual mammograms but don't do a monthly exam as my breasts are lumpy. Would an ultrasound be useful? Should I be checking them monthly?

I get annual mammograms but don't do a monthly exam as my breasts are lumpy. Would an ultrasound be useful? Should I be checking them monthly?

Yes: Breast self exams are useful, especially with lumpy breasts. Ultrasound may demonstrate cysts which may help rule out a solid mass. ...Read more

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Ultrasound vs mammograms? What are the differences between an ultrasound and mammogram? I had an ultrasound done and the tech thought he found a lump, but he said he needed to investigate it more, so he wanted to schedule another ultrasound. Shouldn't I

Ultrasound vs mammograms? What are the differences between an ultrasound and mammogram? I had an ultrasound done and the tech thought he found a lump, but he said he needed to investigate it more, so he wanted to schedule another ultrasound. Shouldn't I

X-ray vs sound waves: If you have a lump that can be felt, it's likely the radiologist will want an ultrasound as well as mammogram. Mammogram uses x-rays to see calcifications that might indicate a breast cancer, while ultrasound uses sound waves to see different characteristics of breast tissue such as blood flow, size and shape of a lump and whether it's solid or cystic. Ultrasound is also used to guide biopsy. ...Read more

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Why do I need mammogram and a breast ultrasound?

Why do I need mammogram and a breast ultrasound?

Both are helpful: Mammograms use x-ray technique and are better at detecting tiny calcium deposits that may signal an early breast cancer than ultrasound. Mammograms can also detect tumors. Ultrasound uses soundwaves, like sonar, and will help determine if a lump is solid (requiring biopsy) or a cyst (fluid filled & usually not cancer). Both tests work together to find breast cancer. ...Read more

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Is breast ultrasound as effective as a mammogram?

Is breast ultrasound as effective as a mammogram?

No: There are 3 mainstream modalities of breast imaging - mammogram, ultrasound and breast mri. Each of these has its strengths and weaknesses.

Mammogram is used as a screening tool for all women in the us because it gives the best overall picture. The ultrasound is most commonly used to help discern between a cyst and a solid lesion. ...Read more

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What is the value of a breast ultrasound vs mammogram?

What is the value of a breast ultrasound vs mammogram?

Important info: The mammogram (mg) and ultrasound (us) show breast tissue in different ways. The mg is better for women with fatty breasts. The us can help tell if a mass is solid or cystic (fluid filled). It can also give a better picture for women who have dense breasts. The tests are often used together to help determine what is going on. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram, and an ultrasound?

What is the difference between a screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram, and an ultrasound?

A screening: mammogram is a study of both breasts that is performed on asymptomatic women to try and detect signs of breast cancer. A diagnostic mammogram consists of special views, and is usually targeted to a specific area of the breast, to further evaluate a potential abnormality seen on screening mammo or felt on clinical exam. ...Read more

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Why would a fibroadenoma require followup magnified mammogram and ultrasound 6 months after diagnosis if can't become malignant?

Why would a fibroadenoma require followup magnified mammogram and ultrasound 6 months after diagnosis if can't become malignant?

Better Safe Than...: Rarely, what is presumed to be a fibroadenoma is a sarcoma-like tumor (phyllodes tumor). Therefore, if the tumor is growing on the 6-month follow-up study, excision will be recommended. Remember: common things happen most commonly. Chances are it will not grow and be of no concern. ...Read more

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Would you have a partial mastectomy if your biopsy says big cell reaction and recently had mammogram and ultrasound and still adnormal?

Would you have a partial mastectomy if your biopsy says big cell reaction and recently had mammogram and ultrasound and still adnormal?

Not enough info: I am not sure I understand the question. Did the biopsy show benign giant cell reaction? If so that is a benign foreign body reaction. Abnormal radiology findings by themselves does not indicate a need for partial mastectomy. But sometimes an open excisiobal biopsy is done if a needle biopsy result does not correlate to the x-ray findings. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
664 Doctors shared insights

Mammogram (Definition)

A mammogram is the "gold standard" screening test for breast cancer. It's well established that yearly 'grams will DX cancers well before they are palpable, leading to earlier diagnoses and saved lives. All experts agree to begin yearly mammograms by age 50; many (including myself) believe the pro's outweigh the con's to begin at 40. Regrettably, less than half of all women ...Read more