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Application of Handheld Ultrasound in Thyroid and Breast Surgery

With the continuous development of general surgery, the classification of disciplines continues to increase. One branch of general surgery has been differentiated as thyroid and breast surgery (or gland surgery in some hospitals). Under the current situation, there is a trend for specialization. Therefore, it is more beneficial for professional diagnosis and treatment of diseases to separate thyroid and breast that are belong to general surgery into one department. Also, it is beneficial for patients to have more specialized treatment. It has considerable benefits for both society and patients.

Stork Ultrasound Scanner Used In Department Of Thyroid And Breast Surgery

Stork Ultrasound Scanner Used In Department Of Thyroid And Breast Surgery

Department of thyroid and breast surgery of the People's Hospital of Liaoning Province

In general, thyroid and breast surgery treat thyroid and breast diseases. Clinically, it mainly solves simple goitre, hyperthyroidism, thyroiditis, thyroid adenoma, thyroid cancer, primary hyperparathyroidism, cervical lymph node tuberculosis, thyroid bone cysts, acute mastitis, breast fibroids, breast ductal tumours, breast papillomas, breast sarcomas, breast cancer, multiple breast cysts, breast hyperplasia and other diseases.

1. Thyroid ultrasound

As one of the endocrine organs, the thyroid is located on the surface of the throat and trachea. It is divided into left and right lobes and isthmus connecting both lobes. The isthmus is located on the surface of the second to fourth tracheal ring, which extends upward to form a hammer lobe. There are individual differences in the weight of the thyroid and is about 25 grams in adults. Compared with females, the position of males' larynx is lower, and the thyroid cartilage protrudes forward, so the position of the thyroid is lower. The anterior cervical muscle group is in front of the thyroid, the sternocleidomastoid muscle is in the front side. The jugular vein and the common carotid artery are on the side of the thyroid, the trachea, esophagus and other organs are on the behind.  Also, there is the vagus nerve, recurrent laryngeal nerve, parathyroid gland and other structures around the thyroid. In general, a 7-5~10MHz probe is used for ultrasound examination of the thyroid, and it can be used for color blood flow detection and ultrasound-guided percutaneous biopsy.

 Stork Wireless Handheld Ultrasound Scanner For Thyroid Examination

Stork wireless handheld ultrasound scanner for thyroid examination

A thyroid nodule is the most common endocrine system disease in clinics. In recent years, the prevalence has been increasing year by year. Early detection of lesions and identification of the nature of the lesions are related to the choice of treatment and prognosis for patients. Ultrasonography is the main imaging method for diagnosing thyroid nodules, and it is widely used in the screening and diagnosis of thyroid nodules. Currently, the new ultrasound technology provides more information on the microcirculation and harness of thyroid nodules, which is more important for the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules.

2D Image Of The Thyroid (Left)

2D image of the thyroid (left)

Color Blood Flow Image Of The Thyroid (Right)

Color blood flow image of the thyroid (right)

thyroid-examination-5.jpgThyroid Nodules(Left) Thyroid Cysts(Right)

 Thyroid nodules(left)     Thyroid cysts(right)

2. Breast ultrasound

Wireless ultrasound transducers have been used in the examination of breast diseases for more than 50 years. Wild (1951) and other foreign scholars used pulsed A-mode ultrasound to detect breast tissue and breast masses and individual B-mode ultrasound images were obtained. Kossoff G (1972) reported that grey-scale ultrasound can clearly show the breast gland and its pathological features.  In the late 1970s, China began to apply real-time ultrasound in clinical ultrasound examinations for breast diseases, which was earliest reported by Xu Guangbo (1979). In the middle and late 1980s, the high frequency linear probe was used to diagnose breast diseases and good results were achieved. Since the 1990s, the application of color blood flow imaging in the diagnosis of breast diseases (especially breast tumors) has been widely reported in the ultrasound field at home and abroad, which has considerable progress in the depth and breadth of the research on ultrasound examination of breast diseases.

Ultrasound Examination Of Breast Tumors

The picture shows ultrasound examination of breast tumours

Breast ultrasound was initially used to roughly show the structure of the breast and help distinguish cystic and solid masses. However, with the continuous development of image resolution and computer processing technology, as well as the continuous application of new ultrasound technologies such as contrast-enhanced ultrasound, elasticity, and three-dimensional, ultrasound examination can greatly reflect the fine structure and small lesions in the breast, and ultrasound diagnosis of the breast diseases has become a routine examination method with high sensitivity and specificity.

Ultrasound Images Of The Breast By Stork Wireless Handheld Ultrasound Scanner

Ultrasound Images Of The Breast By Stork Wireless Handheld Ultrasound Probe

Ultrasound Images Of The Breast By Stork Wireless Handheld Ultrasound Transducer

Ultrasound images of the breast

Ultrasound examination does not bring pain and radiation damage to patients, so it can be used many times in a short period. It is suitable for any age and any physiological period of females, including pregnancy and lactation. Before the inspection, the examinee does not need special preparation. Also, the operation is simple, and there is no blind area for inspecting. Moreover, due to the superficial position of the breast, ultrasound has a good resolution of soft tissues. And it can clearly show each layer of the breast and chest wall, determine the anatomical location and level of the disease, distinguish breast masses and chest wall masses, as well as find a few millimetres of small lumps in the breast. Stork ultrasound can measure the size of breast masses, show the internal structure of breast masses, determine the physical properties of breast masses (cystic, solid, or mixed cystic-solid), and understand the infiltration of breast masses into surrounding tissues. According to the ultrasonography and blood flow signal characteristics, it is helpful to further distinguish the benign and malignant breast masses. For undetermined breast masses, elective ultrasound-guided cytology or core needle biopsy can be used.


Breast nodules   (left)   Breast masses   (right)

Compared with other auxiliary examination methods, ultrasound examination has the advantages of being non-invasive, simple and easy to perform. It can also be used for dynamic observation, and the clinical diagnosis coincidence rate is higher. Therefore, breast ultrasound has been one of the important conventional imaging examination methods in clinical. However, breast ultrasound examination has limitations such as operator dependence, subjective factors, and occult lesions.

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