Ultrasound is most frequently performed in combination with mammography. Its primary function is characterization of lumps as either solid or fluid filled (cysts). In addition, the majority of cyst aspirations and breast biopsies are performed using ultrasound guidance.
Ultrasound is not a substitute for mammography but is advantageous in evaluating abnormalities in dense breasts. However, private insurance carriers as well as Medicare/Medicaid do not currently cover the expense of ultrasound performed as a screening test.