In health care, ultrasound diagnostics has established itself as one of the most informative and affordable methods of non-invasive research. For many diseases, ultrasound is the gold standard in diagnosis.
Ultrasound examination of the mammary glands in men is performed less frequently - in the presence of pathological processes in the chest. Normally, the mammary glands of men are undeveloped and are in their infancy. Since there is a small amount of female sex hormones (estrogens) in the blood of men, the development of the mammary glands does not occur.
Indications for breast ultrasound
Most often, breast ultrasound in men is performed when symptoms such as:
- swelling and a significant increase in the mammary glands;
- pain in the chest;
- deformation, coarsening and enlargement of the nipple and its halos;
- discharge from the nipple, which normally should not be;
- significant imbalance in the hormonal system in determining the blood test.
Breast enlargement in men is called gynecomastia (see Fig. 1). Gynecomastia can be observed with a significant change in the hormonal background in a man , in which there is an increase in the hormone prolactin in the blood plasma. Also, gynecomastia can be observed in the presence of diabetes. In cases where endocrine pathology is excluded, gynecomastia is observed in inflammatory diseases of the pectoral muscles.
Fig. 1 - Normal breast structure and gynecomastia.
Breast ultrasound in men is used by specialists such as endocrinologist, andrologist, surgeon and oncologist. The value of ultrasound diagnosis is high due to the accuracy of determining the pathological process. So timely diagnosis allows you to establish a diagnosis and cure it in the early stages of the disease.
Do I need preparation for the procedure?
The location and structure of the male mammary gland does not raise questions among specialists when conducting an ultrasound diagnostic examination, and the procedure does not require specific preparation.
For the procedure, the only contraindication is a gross violation of the integrity of the skin in this area, which can lead to discomfort and pain when it is performed. So in the presence of wounds and abrasions in the chest from the ultrasound examination of the mammary glands should refrain. In other cases, it can be performed without obstacles, without special training.
What does breast ultrasound show?
With the help of ultrasound it is possible to identify almost all the main causes of the development of gynecomastia, without the use of additional research methods. So, when determining the ultrasound picture, diseases such as are most often determined:
- true gynecomastia with an overgrowth of breast tissue;
- dilation of the ducts of the mammary glands;
- inflammation of the breast;
- nodular, nodular and cystic formations of focal and diffuse nature;
The identification of most of the above diseases causes no doubt in establishing a clinical diagnosis and shaping treatment tactics. However, when identifying tumor formations, it is important to send the patient to the oncology center to clarify the histological composition of the tumor and the choice of treatment tactics.