Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS)

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Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS)

For Women with Dense Breast Tissue

Automated Breast Ultrasound (ABUS) is a supplemental breast cancer screening option for women with dense breast tissue. When used in conjunction with mammography, ABUS can find cancers that mammography misses, improving breast cancer detection over mammography alone.

ABUS screening uses sound waves, not radiation, to create 3D pictures of the breast tissue.

Do I still need a mammogram?

ABUS screenings do not replace mammograms. A mammogram is the only medical imaging screening test proven to reduce breast cancer deaths. Mammograms also show calcifications in the ducts, which can be an early sign of cancer. ABUS screenings do not show calcifications. An ABUS screening is a secondary screening only for women whose breast density could be masking other abnormalities.

How do I find out if I have dense breasts?

Breast density is determined by the radiologist who reads your mammogram. The radiologist will indicate breast density in your mammography report and the letter you will receive in the mail.

How do I know if ABUS is right for me?

If you receive notification after your mammogram that you have dense breast tissue you can talk to your clinician to see if an ABUS exam is appropriate for you. If you know that you have dense breast tissue an ABUS exam can also be scheduled when you make your mammogram appointment. After your mammogram, if it is determined by the radiologist that you still have dense breast tissue, the ABUS exam can be performed following your mammogram.

Before arriving for your exam

It is important that the radiologist have any previous mammograms available for comparison when reading your current study. When scheduling your exam, please notify the scheduler of when and where your mammogram was performed.

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.

What can I expect?

You will be asked to lie on your back on the exam table. A layer of lotion is applied to your breast, and then a scanner is firmly positioned on your breast to acquire the images. The exam takes approximately 30 minutes. The radiologist will review the ABUS screening images along with your mammogram.

After your exam

Your exam will be reviewed by a subspecialized breast imaging radiologist 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 319-364-0121. A physician’s referral is necessary for this exam, please check with your insurance carrier to understand your coverage.

For more information on this and other radiology procedures, visit
RCI is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Contact RCI

RCI Imaging Center
1948 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Hours: Monday – Friday,
7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 319-364-0121
Toll Free: 800-747-0121
Fax: 319-364-5684

For billing and
insurance questions:

RCI Business Services
1956 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Hours: Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Phone: 319-832-1735
Toll Free: 800-747-9729
Fax: 319-832-1747

mailing address:

Radiology Consultants of Iowa
PO Box 338
Cedar Rapids, IA 52406