A retrospective review of ultrasound guided breast excisional biopsies performed in a Surgical Unit of Princess Alexandra Hospital in 1998-99 was undertaken to assess the use of ultrasound specimen radiography. In this series a total of 55 localization biopsies were performed for impalpable lesions in 53 women. In 21 patients (38%), specimen ultrasound was used to confirm that the lesion in question had been excised, whereas for 34 lesions (62%), specimen X-ray was undertaken. In a total of six cases (10.9% overall) the radiographic abnormality was seen on ultrasound only. Real-time specimen sonography is a technique which is very appropriately utilized in conjunction with ultrasound guided excisions and can be easily performed either in the radiology department or the operative suite With minimal time delay. It could have particular application for lesions that are detected in younger women with dense breast parenchyma. The results of this review confirm specimen sonography to be a reliable technique. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.