Breast ultrasound is a non-invasive exam that uses high-energy sound waves to acquire images. Breast ultrasound can help diagnose potential breast abnormalities detected by a self-exam, your physician or mammogram. It can also help determine if an area of concern is solid and or fluid-filled. This can help further determine if an abnormality is cancerous or a benign cyst. Based on the results of a breast ultrasound, we may investigate further. The breast radiologist might perform a breast biopsy using ultrasound guidance.

What can I expect during my breast ultrasound?

Breast ultrasound is often used with diagnostic mammography to better clarify findings on a mammogram.

During a breast ultrasound exam, you will lie either face-up or on your side. We apply a gel on your skin. The female sonographer will move a scanning tool, called a transducer, over the area we are studying to obtain images.

Generally this exam lasts about 30 minutes. We will review results of your study with you before you leave.


The Polyclinic's Breast Imaging Department is proud to be recognized as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

Contact Us

  • To schedule an appointment, please call 206-329-5496 and select option 1.
  • For general questions, please call 206-329-1760.