Answer: Thank you for contacting the Ask a Breast Imaging Expert forum. You can be assured that having an ultrasound does not expose you to ionizing radiation. Ultrasound uses sound waves which are converted by a computer into the images, or pictures of what is inside your body . In general, a person is right to be cautious about being exposed to more radiation than needed. However, in a case like yours where you are trying to determine whether the lump is something that needs urgent attention, the radiation exposure from the mammogram, or even a repeat mammogram or CT scan if recommended by the doctor, is justified. Even so, the facilities for which our UT radiologists provide expert interpretations of images are very careful to minimize radiation exposure from each procedure. If you need a place for high quality breast imaging with expert physician analyses, please consider making an appointment at one of the Memorial Hermann Breast Centers (713-512-6040) or at the LBJ General Hospital (713-526-4243).
Answer: Previous surgery/scar does make it challenging to evaluate the area. However, breast US is still very useful since a malignant lump likely has blood flow and scar tissue does not. If the radiologist has any doubt, he/she may recommend breast MRI for further evaluation.