A breast ultrasound is a painless procedure used in conjunction with mammography to determine if a lump or mass is solid tissue or a fluid-filled cyst. The ultrasound provides additional information that helps confirm the composition of a lump or mass and helps determine follow-up care.
An ultrasound is not a screening tool and should not routinely be used in place of a mammogram. A physician may order, or a radiologist may recommend, using an ultrasound in place of a mammogram if certain conditions are present. Such conditions may be: the patient is outside the guidelines for screening mammography or she is breast-feeding.