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Procedures

Breast Ultrasound

Know the Basics

There are three imaging techniques used to evaluate the breast for breast cancer: mammography, ultrasound, and breast MRI. Each imaging technique provides a unique piece of information in your evaluation. Often more than one type of imaging is necessary to fully evaluate breast symptoms and to look for breast cancer.

Breast Ultrasound, also known as sonography or ultrasonography, uses ultrasound waves to construct images of the breast. There is no radiation exposure with ultrasound examinations.

Breast ultrasound is used for the following purposes

  • Evaluate breast abnormalities that are found on screening mammography (this is often done in addition to mammography during the callback appointment).
  • Evaluate new breast symptoms including a palpable lump or focal breast pain in conjunction with mammography.
  • Ultrasound is the first and often only imaging modality used to evaluate breast symptoms in women younger than 30.
  • evaluate abnormal findings seen on breast MRI to determine if an ultrasound guided biopsy may be possible.

Ultrasound is excellent at imaging cysts, which are round, fluid-filled pockets inside the breast. Ultrasound can often quickly determine if a suspicious area is in fact a benign cyst (always non-cancerous) or a solid mass, which may require a biopsy to determine if it is cancerous.

Who should have a breast ultrasound?

  1. Patients who have an abnormal finding on their screening mammogram will be contacted to return for a diagnostic examination, which usually consists of both additional mammographic images and a breast ultrasound.
  2.  Patients who have breast symptoms like a lump in the breast, focal breast pain (pain that you can designate with one finger, NOT regional or whole breast pain), and nipple discharge.

How should I prepare?

No special preparation is needed. Prior to your exam you will be asked to undress from the waist up. A gown will be provided for your comfort. It is best if you wear shorts, pants, or a skirt to your appointment so that you can easily undress from the waist up.

What should I expect?

You will be positioned on your back or lying partially on your side on an exam table. A clear gel will be applied to your breast. The gel eliminates air between the ultrasound probe and skin allowing the ultrasound beam to cross the skin in order to image the inside of the breast. The transducer is pressed against the skin and moved back and forth to visualize the area of interest. Ultrasound is usually painless, though some patients experience mild discomfort from the pressure applied to the transducer.

For your safety and the protection of others, we do not allow anyone other than patients in our exam rooms.

How do I get results?

After your study, the images will be evaluated by one of our board-certified radiologists with expertise in breast imaging. A final report will be sent to your doctor or healthcare provider, who can then discuss the results with you in detail.

Reports are also available on the MyRAD Patient Portal

Breast Imaging Team

Matthew L. Bell, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology
  • Education:
    B.S. – University of California at Irvine, 1996
    M.D. – Medical College of Wisconsin, 2001
  • Internship:
    Transitional, Aurora Health Care/St. Luke’s Medical Center (Milwaukee), 2002-2003
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, Aurora Health Care/St. Luke’s Medical Center (Milwaukee), 2003-2007
  • Fellowship:
    Cross-Sectional Imaging, University of Arizona, 2007-2008
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 2007

With Radiology Ltd. since 2008

Danielle M. Carroll, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology
  • Education:
    B.S. University of Arizona, 1997
    M.D. University of Arizona, 2007
  • Internship:
    Tucson Hospital Medical Education Program, 2007-2008
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, University of Arizona, 2008-2012
  • Fellowship:
    Breast Imaging, University of Arizona, 2012-2013
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 2012

Marcus J. Dill-Macky, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology
  • Education:
    M.B.B.S. – University of Western Australia, 1988
    M.D., 2006
  • Internship:
    Transitional, Royal Perth Hospital (Australia), 1988
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, Western Australia Radiology Training Scheme, 1993-1998
  • Fellowship:
    Body Imaging, University of Toronto, 1998-1999; MRI, Monash Medical Centre (Melbourne, Australia), 1999
  • Board Certifications:
    MRCP 1992; FRANZCR 1998; RCPSC 2006; ABR 2006

Assistant Professor in Medical Imaging, University Health Network and the Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto), 2002-2007
With Radiology Ltd. since 2007

Christine N. Eppelheimer, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology
  • Education:
    B.S. - University of Arizona, 2006
    M.D. - University of Arizona, 2010
  • Internship:
    Internal Medicine, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center (Phoenix), 2010-11
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center (Phoenix), 2011-14; Mt. Sinai Beth Israel (New York), 2014-15
  • Fellowship:
    Body and Breast Imaging, North Shore University Hospital (Manhasset, NY), 2015-16
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 2014

Robert F. Rauch, II, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology, Interventional Radiology
  • Education:
    B.A. – Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), 1974
    M.D. – Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland), 1978
  • Internship:
    Internal Medicine, Good Samaritan Hospital (Phoenix), 1978-1979
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, University of California at San Francisco, 1979-1982
  • Fellowship:
    Ultrasound/CT, Duke University, 1982-1983
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 1982; CAQ Interventional Radiology 1997, 2007

With Radiology Ltd. since 1984

Paul R. Strautman, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging, General Radiology, Pediatric Radiology
  • Education:
    B.S. – University of Arizona, 1978
    M.D. – University of Arizona, 1985
  • Internship:
    Transitional, Good Samaritan Medical Center (Phoenix), 1985-1986
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, University of Arizona, 1986-1990
  • Fellowship:
    Interventional Radiology, Brown University, 1990-1991
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 1990

With Radiology Ltd. since 2010

Marisa H. Borders, M.D.

  • Specialties:
    Breast Imaging
  • Education:
    B.S. - Pepperdine University, 1995
    M.D. - Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 2000
  • Internship:
    Internal Medicine, St. Joseph's Hospital, 2000-2001
  • Residency:
    Diagnostic Radiology, University of Arizona, 2001-2005
  • Fellowship:
    Breast and Body Imaging, University of Arizona, 2005-2006
  • Board Certifications:
    ABR 2005

Meet Lynette, Tucson resident

Lynette has her mammogram like clockwork every year. She was a bit nervous this year because she felt something unusual in her breast. Thankfully, her mammogram showed no issues. Because she had dense breast tissue and described a change in her breast, her physician and radiologist also recommended a breast ultrasound in Tucson. The breast ultrasound confirmed that there were no abnormalities and that she was just fine. Breast ultrasound gave Lynette the additional peace of mind she needed.