In healthcare, ultrasound diagnosis has established itself as one of the most informative and available non-invasive methods. For many diseases, ultrasound is the gold standard in diagnosis.
Ultrasound examination of breast glands in men is not performed as often - in the presence of pathological processes in the chest area. Normally, the mammary glands in men are undeveloped and in an embryonic state. Since in the blood of men there is a small number of female sex hormones (estrogens) , development of the mammary glands does not occur.
Indications for ultrasound of the breast
Most often, ultrasound of the mammary glands in men is performed when there are such symptoms as:
- swelling and a significant increase in breast gland;
- pain in the area of the mammary glands;
- deformation, coarsening and enlargement of the nipple and its halos;
- discharge from the nipple, which should not normally be;
- a significant imbalance in the hormonal system in determining the blood test.
An increase in the mammary glands in men is called gynecomastia (see Figure 1). Gynecomastia can be observed with a significant change in the hormonal background in a man under which an increase in the hormone prolactin in the blood plasma. Gynecomastia can also be observed in the presence of diabetes mellitus. In cases where endocrine pathology is excluded, gynecomastia is observed in inflammatory diseases of the pectoral muscles.
Fig. 1 - Normal structure of the breast and gynecomastia.
Ultrasound of the mammary glands in men is used by such specialists as endocrinologist, andrologist, surgeon and oncologist. The value of ultrasonic diagnostics is high due to the accuracy of the pathological process. So timely diagnostics allows at the early stages of the disease to establish a diagnosis and cure it.
Do I need to prepare for the procedure?
The location and structure of the mammary gland does not raise questions among specialists when conducting an ultrasound diagnostic study, 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 in its conduct. So, in the presence of wounds and abrasions in the chest area from ultrasound examination of breast glands, it is worthwhile to abstain. In other cases it can be performed without obstacles, without special preparation.
What does the breast ultrasound show?
Using ultrasound, it is possible to identify virtually all the main causes of gynecomastia, without the use of additional research methods. So, when determining the ultrasound picture, most often identified are such diseases as:
- true gynecomastia with proliferation of breast tissue;
- expansion of the ducts of the mammary glands;
- inflammatory processes in the mammary gland;
- nodular, nodal and cystic formations of focal and diffuse nature;
The detection of most of the above diseases does not cause doubts in the establishment of a clinical diagnosis and the formation of treatment tactics. However, when detecting tumor formations, it is important to send the patient to the cancer center to clarify the histological composition of the tumor and the choice of treatment tactics.