Today I had a SonoCine’ ultrasound; this is a new automated ultrasound that is more effective for cancer screening women with dense breasts than mammograms, and there is no radiation exposure!
I called around the Bay Area, and the only place I could find that did the SonoCine’ was in Santa Rosa. Because this procedure is so new, it is not yet reimbursed by insurance companies, however, it’s not that expensive. I payed out-of-pocket, and it cost me $100 to have one breast imaged; it would have cost $175 to do two. You don’t even need a doctor’s order to obtain a SonoCine’; and they will mail results to your home, however if you want detailed results, these are only sent to the physician whose name you give at the time of the procedure.
I had a very nice technician who had me put on a “mesh cami” that made the ultrasound wand glide over my chest. Then she coated my breast with the ultrasound gel, and did vertical sweeps with the wand, like she was “mowing the lawn” on my breast. Above me was the SonoCine’ arm that took this information and turned it into a moving, dimensional picture which the technician will use to interpret. It took about 15 minutes, and I was so pleased to have accomplished my yearly breast screening without any radiation!
When you call, they may tell you that you first need a mammogram, but if you tell them you don’t want one, they will perform the SonoCine’ without it. None of my physicians told me about this procedure – once again, it pays to be your own advocate!
To schedule, call (707) 576-4800. They are located in the Women’s Health Building at 625 Steele Lane in Santa Rosa.