Ultrasound of the mammary glands - features and advantages of ultrasonic diagnostics
Ultrasound is an extremely safe, accurate, informative way of determining pathologies in the area of the mammary glands.What are the indications and contraindications to the appointment of ultrasound diagnosis?How to prepare for the survey, and how is the procedure itself?About this and talk below.Table of contents: Brief description of the method What does breast ultrasound show?When is the procedure prescribed?When urgent diagnosis of mammary glands is needed. Possible limitations. Advantages of ultrasound. What day of the cycle are breast ultrasounds performed?How does the procedure work?Explanation of the results of
The ultrasound examination of the mammary glands is a non-invasive and informative way of diagnosis.Thanks to this method, the specialist is able to assess the size of the mammary glands, the functional state of their tissue structures and nearby lymph nodes.In addition, the doctor can determine the presence of cystic and neoplastic lesions localized in the chest region, even before the appearance of severe clinical symptoms of the pathology and palpation of the palpation.
Important! Ultrasound examination of mammary glands is of great importance in the timely diagnosis of malignant tumors.It contributes to early detection of tumors and a decrease in the mortality rate of patients from breast cancer !
Ultrasound diagnosis is not associated with X-rays, and therefore absolutely safe for patients.It is recommended for inflammatory processes localized in the chest, or for traumatic injuries to the .However, unlike mammography, ultrasound does not provide an opportunity to view the image in different angles, so if there are no restrictions for mammography, this technique is used only as an additional diagnostic procedure!
A tremendous value for the timely detection of oncological tumors in the thoracic region is played by a method such as ultrasound with an elastography that allows to evaluate the stiffness of tissue structures in the mammary gland .This procedure helps the specialist not only to establish the presence of atypical cells, but also to determine their number, location.Thanks to ultrasound with elastography, it is possible to avoid the need for a biopsy!
Note: According to statistical data, the informativeness of ultrasound of the mammary glands with the elastography in the detection of malignant tumors is 95%!
What does breast ultrasound show?
Performing ultrasound of the mammary glands, helps to diagnose such diseases:
- Mastitis is an inflammatory disease of the mammary glands.
- Nodular and diffuse mastopathy - benign neoplasms that develop due to hormonal disorders.
- Cystic neoplasms are a specific cavity with liquid contents localized in the region of healthy glandular tissues.
- Tumor neoplasm of benign or malignant origin( to establish the exact nature of the tumor will allow the taking of a biopsy).
Ultrasound provides an opportunity to identify pathological processes at the earliest stages of development, which not only facilitates subsequent treatment and increases its effectiveness, but also in case of breast cancer helps save the patient's life!
Note: may require additional types of studies to establish an accurate diagnosis, such as mammography, biopsy, laboratory tests, etc.
When is the procedure prescribed?
The representative of the fair sex is recommended periodic preventive breast examinations by ultrasound .
The following are the main indications for carrying out ultrasound of the mammary glands:
- presence of tumoral neoplasms;
- enlarged axillary lymph nodes;
- acute manifestations of inflammatory processes, localized in the area of the breast.
- sclerosing cystic neoplasms;
- pregnancy and lactation period;
- genetic predisposition to oncology of the breast( presence of the disease in close relatives);
- nodal mastopathy with concomitant uncharacteristic manifestations;
- selection of hormonal contraception;
- ovarian dysfunction;
- traumatic injuries;
- excessive swelling and tenderness of the breasts during menstruation;
- peeling of the skin in the gland;
- thoracic asymmetry.
In addition, ultrasound diagnosis is prescribed during the preparation of the patient for surgical operations in the chest area, as well as to assess the condition of the prosthesis in women with silicone implants.
Important! To women's representatives in the age category under 30, ultrasound should be done at least once a year, women older than thirty years - twice a year!
When urgent diagnosis of mammary glands is needed
Inflammatory and oncological diseases of mammary glands are accompanied by a characteristic symptomatology, to which the fair sex should pay special attention.
The reason for referring to specialists and subsequent ultrasound should be:
- hardening of glandular breast tissue;Deformity of the nipples and the shape of the breast;
- enlargement of the gland( especially uneven);
- specific discharge from the teats with impurities of bloody or purulent contents;
- seals or cavities localized in the glands;
- pain in the chest;
- swelling of the mammary glands;
- redness of the skin;
- increased body temperature;
- general weakness, increased fatigue.
Please note: n If you have at least a few of the above symptoms, you should immediately contact a qualified specialist - mammologist - and get a referral to the breast ultrasound!
Ultrasound examination is extremely soft, gentle, and therefore this procedure does not have any absolute contraindications or age-related restrictions. This method of diagnosis, unlike mammography, is absolutely safe for women who are expecting the birth of a baby and breastfeeding mothers.It is not necessary to conduct ultrasound only with traumatic lesions of the breast, accompanied by a violation of the integrity of the skin( wound, burn injuries, etc.) .It is also not advisable to carry out this diagnostic procedure during menstruation.
Note: n and the structural state of the breast affects the overall hormonal background, which largely depends on the menstrual cycle.For this reason, for ultimately accurate diagnosis, ultrasound is best done during the first half of the menstrual cycle.
Advantages of ultrasound examination
Ultrasound is characterized by some advantages over other diagnostic procedures of .
These include the following factors of :
- painless procedure;
- no contraindications and age restrictions;
- high accuracy and information;
- the possibility of diagnosing during pregnancy and lactation;
- exclusion of ionizing and radiation effects;
- absolute safety procedures for the patient's health;
- probability of revealing pathological processes that were not detected in mammography;
- financial accessibility and democracy;
- revealing both pathological and healthy areas of the gland.
- no traumatic injuries during the procedure;
- there is no need for any surgical intervention;
- quick receipt of diagnostic results.
On what day of the cycle do ultrasound of the mammary glands?
To conduct ultrasound is recommended during the first half of the menstrual cycle.According to experts, the ideal time for this procedure is the interval from the 5th to the 14th day from the onset of menstruation .The fact is that during this period of time the milk ducts become extremely narrowed, which facilitates the process of visualization of any extensions, seals and possible tumoral neoplasms.Practice has shown that during the examination of breast glands by ultrasound in the second half of the menstrual cycle, the informative value of the results is reduced and the probability of a possible error in the course of diagnosis increases significantly
Patients during the menopause can undergo such procedure any day, without any restrictions.
Important! If you have painful symptoms that indicate possible pathologies, do not delay the diagnosis and go through ultrasound urgently, regardless of the day of the menstrual cycle!
Features of preparation
Ultrasonic diagnosis of the area of the mammary glands does not require any special preparation.However, on the day of the procedure, the patients are advised to take a shower, thoroughly cleaning the areas of the chest and armpits, without using soap.From the use of deodorants, creams and other cosmetic products for the body before ultrasound diagnosis should be refrained.
How does the procedure work?
The procedure is absolutely painless and does not cause the patient any discomfort!First, the woman needs to undress to the waist, revealing the chest area, and lie on her back.Then the specialist applies a special gel on the area of mammary glands, which improves the quality of the ultrasonic signal conductivity.After this, to each breast alternately presses the sensor, with the help of which the doctor examines the condition of the gland.The subclavian, axillary and supraclavicular zones are necessarily scanned.
The research process is visualized on the monitor screen, and the ultrasound specialist records the results.The duration of the study can be from 15 minutes to half an hour.
Note: , at the end of the procedure, the ultrasound doctor gives an opinion on the condition of the mammary glands and deciphers the results.The diagnosis is made by a doctor-mammologist after additional procedures!
During the diagnostic examination, the expert evaluates the size and shape of the glands, the density and volume of adipose tissue, the structure of the walls of the breast, the functional state of the so-called milk ducts.
Normally, the thoracic gland should not have thickening, compaction of the extensions of the milk ducts.Cystic and tumor neoplasms are also absent.Axillary lymph nodes are not enlarged.
An important criterion is also the level of reflection of sound signals: a significant decrease in it or, on the contrary, an increase indicates the presence of pathological processes, which requires additional diagnostics.
Breast ultrasound is a popular and informative diagnostic procedure that allows you to assess the condition of the breast and identify possible diseases in the early stages of their development.And do not despise her!
Chumachenko Olga, medical reviewer