Automated Whole-Breast Ultrasound
Automated Whole-Breast Ultrasound, AWBU, is a secondary screening procedure designed for women with dense breasts. The AWBU machine is able to see through dense tissue and works with both saline and silicone breast implants. For more information on breast density, click here.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center's AWBU machine is quite small, consisting of a base unit with a monitor and an arm with the ultrasound transducer (which sends out sound waves and then listens to the echoes.) The transducer is padded and curved to fit comfortably on your breast.
The use of the automated whole-breast ultrasound exam for screening is not yet paid for by insurance companies. The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides the AWBU exam on a cash-pay basis.
You, together with your doctor, have chosen to receive an Automated Whole-Breast Ultrasound exam. Ultrasound is a safe and painless procedure that uses sound waves to "see" inside your body. At the Cedars-Sinai S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center we have an expert team of sub-specialty trained imaging physicians, nurses and technologists who are highly trained in ultrasound imaging.
Before Arriving for Your Exam
It is important that the imaging physician have any previous mammograms available for comparison when reading your current study. Please bring any previous mammograms with you on the day of your exam.
It is suggested that you do not schedule your breast ultrasound one week before your menstrual cycle, as your breasts are usually very sensitive at this time.
Although we try to keep waiting time to a minimum, please consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
If you have not recently had any other test on your breasts performed at Cedars-Sinai, you will be asked to complete a Breast Imaging Questionnaire.
A technologist will review the questionnaire and will add other information as necessary.
The technologist will also explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have.
During Your Exam
You will be asked to lie on your back on the examination table.
A warm gel, very similar to hair-styling gel, will be applied to your breast. The gel will help the sound waves to travel from the machine into your breast.
The padded AWBU transducer will be placed on your breast.
Sound waves will bounce off the different tissues in your breast. These waves will create "echoes." The echoes are reflected back to the transducer, which converts them to electronic signals. A computer then processes the signals into pictures and shows them on a television monitor.
These moving images may be viewed immediately or recorded for further study.
The images will be reviewed by an imaging physician who has been fellowship-trained to interpret ultrasound exams. The imaging physician may determine that additional images are necessary for a complete examination.
Your exam will take approximately 30 minutes.
After Your Exam
Your study will be reviewed by an imaging physician and the results sent to your doctor. Your doctor will discuss the results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
If you have problems related to your procedure, please call (310) 423-8000.
To request copies of your pictures on a PC and MAC compatible CD, or a copy of your report, please call (310) 423-8000 and follow the prompts for your selection.
Directions and Parking Information
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (310) 423-8000.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and West Hollywood.