Breast ultrasound is most typically performed as a supplemental exam to mammography. Ultrasound of the breast is not usually performed for screening purposes (for patients who have no symptoms). This is because it is a very operator-dependent exam, not easily reproducible from year to year and has a high false positive rate when used for screening.
In our practice breast ultrasound is currently used for screening patients who have been designated as “high-risk,” meaning they require additional screening beyond mammography but are unable to undergo breast MRI because of conditions including a pacemaker, severe obesity and severe claustrophobia.
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