Automated Whole-Breast Ultrasound (ABUS)

Automated whole-breast ultrasound (ABUS) is a secondary screening exam designed for women with dense breasts. Our ABUS machine is able to see through dense tissue and works with both saline and silicone breast implants. See more information on breast density.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center's ABUS machine is 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 transducer is fitted with a new, clean membrane for each patient.

ABUS is not a substitute for a screening mammogram.

Procedure Information

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 image the breast. At the Cedars-Sinai S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center, we have an expert team of subspecialty-trained imaging physicians and technologists to perform automated whole-breast ultrasound. 

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. 
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • This study is not indicated if you have a pacemaker or have been recommended to have a short-term follow-up breast imaging mammogram or ultrasound.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.

After Arriving

  • 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 (PDF).
  • A technologist will review the questionnaire and will add other information as necessary. 
  • If you are allergic to lanolin, please let the technologist know. This exam is usually done with a lotion that contains lanolin, but we have an alternative lotion available.
  • The technologist will also explain your exam and answer any questions you may have.

During Your Exam

  • You will be asked to lie on your back on the examination table.
  • The lotion will be applied to your breast. The lotion helps the sound waves to travel from the machine into your breast. 
  • The padded ABUS 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.
  • Your exam will take approximately one hour.

After Your Exam

  • Your study will be reviewed by a subspecialized breast 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 questions related to your procedure or to schedule an appointment, please call Imaging Scheduling at 310-423-8000 and choose option 1. A physician's referral is necessary for this study.

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, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.