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Echography

In addition to the mammography examination, also ultrasound examination is carried out in the Breast Care Centre. This type of examination looks at the breast in a different way and this can sometimes provide extra information on top of the results from the mammography. With the help of the sound waves (ultrasound), the chest and armpit are viewed by the radiologist. The findings and expectations will be discussed with you immediately after. If necessary further steps will be determined together with you.

An ultrasound scan is an examination with high-frequency sound. You don't hear it, you don't feel it, and it never causes damage. That sound comes from a transducer, and is reflected by the underlying tissues, after which the same transducer recovers these reflected fractions. Just as our eyes make a recognizable image from reflected light with the help of the brain, the echo machine can make a recognizable image from the reflected sound.

The permeability of light is generally low, so that we usually only see the outside of objects. Sound has a much greater penetration capacity so that the deeper layers of a structure can be depicted. Unlike X-rays, the sound used is also completely safe, painless and without risk.

An ultrasound scan is a good method to detect abnormalities in the breasts. In neighbouring countries, ultrasound scans are already widely used for breast examinations, and less so in the Netherlands. The examination requires more time from the specialist radiologist than mammography, which is a relative disadvantage.

The most certain diagnosis is achieved with a combination of mammography and ultrasound, especially for women aged 50 and over.

An ultrasound scan provides additional information about the nature of the different tissues in the breast. Cysts and other abnormalities can often be distinguished immediately. Especially in young women under 50, the breast tissue still has a dense structure, making mammography often difficult to assess. Ultrasound has an important advantage, because the denser the tissue, the better the abnormalities become visible on the ultrasound image.

Ultrasound scans do not require compression such as mammography. As a result, ultrasound is also possible in the case of breast implants, whereby the implants can never be damaged. Normal findings from the ultrasound examination are naturally reassuring, but do not provide 100% certainty. This is also not possible with mammography or MRI. Deviations may still be too small or not visible for other reasons. However, combinations of these studies can be very reliable. If you feel something that is uncommon, even if you had an examination not long ago, have yourself examined again or ask your doctor or doctor for advice.

Before the medical examination

Please bring the following items to the outpatient clinic:

  • The referral from your doctor or digital confirmation thereof.
  • your health insurance card;
  • a valid proof of identity (a valid passport, a valid identity card, a valid aliens document or a valid driver's license);
  • an overview of any medicines that you use;
  • any other matters that are stated in the appointment letter.

The entire examination, including the intake interview and final assessment, is carried out by our radiologist. With the upper body bared you lie on a test bench, where the breasts are examined one by one. The breast is lubricated with gel, after which the 2D transducer is placed on the breast, so that the breast is screened from different angles. In the end this gives a picture of the entire breast and armpit.

At the end of the study you will hear the results of the study. Our radiologist takes ample time for this. If abnormalities are found in the breast ultrasound, further investigation is started (mammography or puncture). The Breast Care Centre will always try to have the examinations take place during one visit.

 Side effects and risks

 There are no known side effects or risks in the breast examination by ultrasound

 Cost

 All examinations are reimbursed by your health insurer.