When coming in for your annual mammogram, if there is something unusual detected, most radiologist's next step is to perform a biopsy to investigate further. These are usually scheduled a few days later. The time between the biopsies, let alone waiting for results, can be incredibly stressful.
Dr. Kathy Schilling, a board certified diagnostic radiologist, has moved to using ultrasound technology as a second step following mammogram to get a better reading of the lesion for a better diagnosis. She has used this technology for the past six years, which has resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the number of biopsies she performs, due to more accurate and early readings. The procedure is covered by insurance and immediately sets patients minds at ease.
Many women will agree that mammograms are uncomfortable while there is no pain associated with ultrasound or while using ShearWave Elastography (this is the color map technology used). Downtime is dependent on each patient but it can be a afternoon or a day. A lot of the anxiety around the procedure, most of which comes from the unknown outcome of the biopsy, is decreased.
Ask your radiologist or physician about ultrasound as an option to avoid a breast biopsy.
Kathy Schilling Colletta, MD spent the last 28 years at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, 5 years as Medical Director of the Christine Lynn Women’s Health and Wellness Institute. She attended the University of Miami, internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital, four-year residency in Diagnostic Radiology Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach and Diagnostic Imaging. Dr. Schilling is currently a partner in Boca Radiology Group, Boca Raton, Florida.