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Women’s Imaging

Breast ultrasound is the examination of the breast tissue using an ultrasound scan. Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to produce images (or pictures) of the breast that are displayed on a screen.

If you or your doctor can feel a lump in the breast, ultrasound can help to distinguish fluid-filled lumps (cysts) from solid lumps that may be cancerous or benign (non-cancerous).

In younger patients who have breast symptoms (e.g. pain, lumps), ultrasound is often the first investigation. The breast tissue of younger women is much denser than it is in older women, and this can make it harder to detect an abnormality using an X-ray or Mammogram.

Ultrasound is also used to diagnose problems such as complications from mastitis (an infection that occurs most often during breast-feeding), assessing abnormal nipple discharge or problems with breast implants.

Ultrasound is commonly used to guide the placement of a needle during biopsies

Ultrasound has been used for decades to assess the health of the female pelvic organs – mainly the uterus, and ovaries.

If you have never had sexual intercourse then your scan will most likely be an abdominal scan with a full bladder. You will need to attend with a full bladder if an abdominal scan is best for you.

Gynaecological ultrasound examination can usually require a vaginal scan.  An ultrasound probe is placed in the vagina to optimise views of the internal organs. An empty bladder is best for a vaginal scan.

A vaginal scan can be performed at any time of the menstrual cycle, although our preference is to perform it just after the period has finished.

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