Abnormal Mammogram/Ultrasound

Abnormal Mammogram/Ultrasound Specialist
Mammograms and breast ultrasounds are invaluable tools in detecting suspicious lumps and masses. Learning that your results are abnormal, is understandably anxiety-provoking. However, in most cases, it doesn't mean that you have cancer. At the Oregon Breast Center in Lake Oswego, Oregon, top-rated breast surgeon Judith Richmond, MD, FACS has extensive experience in evaluating mammogram and breast ultrasound results and providing consultation and effective treatment plans, when necessary.

Abnormal Mammogram/Ultrasound Q & A

by Judith Richmond, MD, FACS

Is a mammogram different than an ultrasound?

Yes, but they both provide images of your breast tissue. During a mammogram, the technician places your breast on a flat plate and thins it out with another plate. This distributes your breast across the platform, which provides the ultimate views of your breast tissue.

During a breast ultrasound, you simply lie on your back. The technician applies clear gel and runs the ultrasound wand over your breast. Ultrasounds are helpful for finding surface-level abnormalities or to get another angle if you had an abnormal mammogram or breast exam.

Why does a doctor request another appointment after a mammogram?

If you recently had a breast ultrasound or mammogram, you’re probably expecting a letter or voicemail telling you everything was normal. This doesn’t always happen though. Sometimes your doctor sees something that needs to be evaluated further. Don’t let your mind take you to the worst possible scenario — many breast issues require a follow-up appointment.

Dr. Richmond might ask you to come into the office after your mammogram if you have dense breast tissue and she needs to order additional imaging. Sometimes she sees something abnormal in your report, like a cyst, and needs to get more images or order labs.

Even if Dr. Richmond does find a tumor, it’s still not a reason to panic. Not all tumors are cancerous. Even if it is cancer, Dr. Richmond is an established breast surgeon who specializes in lumpectomy and mastectomy surgeries. She ensures you get the exact treatment you need to fully recover.

What should I expect during a mammogram follow-up appointment?

Dr. Richmond sits down with you and goes over what she found on your mammogram or ultrasound. She gives you options for determining the appropriate diagnostic intervention. If it’s just a cyst or dense tissue, you probably don’t need to do anything other than come in after six months for another mammogram.

She sometimes has to request another mammogram that is more detailed. The follow-up mammogram — called a diagnostic mammogram — includes extensive images of your breast from various angles, so Dr. Richmond can get a clear view. If further evaluation is necessary, you might need a biopsy, which Dr. Richmond can often perform right in the office.

If you had an abnormal mammogram or ultrasound, schedule your follow-up by calling the office or using our book online system.

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