What is ultrasonography?

In ultrasonography, or ultrasound, high frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, are transmitted through the breast. The echoes are recorded and transformed into video and photographic images. The sound waves are directed at an area of interest through the use of a probe. This allows for close evaluation of a small area of tissue.

How is ultrasound used to image the breast?

Ultrasound is not used as a screening tool. Ultrasound can help determine if an area palpated (pressed on) during an exam or seen on a mammogram is:

  • Solid tissue
  • Filled with fluid
  • Normal tissue

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/14/2014.


  • American College of Radiology. Radiological Society of North America. Ultrasound-Breast Accessed 4/15/2014.
  • American Cancer Society Breast Cancer: Early Detection: Breast Ultrasound Accessed 4/15/2014.
  • Hunt KK, Newman LA, Copeland EM, III, Bland KI. Chapter 17. The Breast. In: Brunicardi F, Andersen DK, Billiar TR, Dunn DL, Hunter JG, Matthews JB, Pollock RE. eds. Schwartz's Principles of Surgery, 9e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2010. library.ccf.org Accessed 4/15/2014.

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