PURPOSE: Current evidence indicates that ultrasonography of the breast is an important adjunct to mammography and clinical examination in the diagnosis of palpable breast abnormalities. An assessment of the value of office-based ultrasonography of a palpable breast mass performed by a breast surgeon was the aim of this work. METHODS: A 7.5 MHz linear probe was used to perform office-based ultrasonography in 109 consecutive female patients having a palpable solid breast mass between August 1998 and December 1999. Breast masses diagnosed histologically as fibroadenomas or breast cancer were included in this study. The clinical impression from the physical examination (PE), the result of officed-based ultrasonography done by a surgeon (OUSG), and comprehensive judgement engaging both PE and OUSG (PEUSG) were recorded in each patient's hospital record as benign or malignant at the first visit. The diagnostic values of PE, OUSG, PEUSG, mammography (MMG), and ultrasonography done by a radiologist (USG) were compared. RESULTS: Of 109 masses, a fibroadenoma was diagnosed in 73 patients while a carcinoma was established in 36 patients. The sensitivity, the specificity, the accuracy rate, and the kappa coefficient were 91.7%, 89.0%, 89.9%, and 0.780 for PE; 100%, 90.4%, 93.6%, and 0.862 for OUSG; 97.2%, 97.3%, 97.2%, and 0.938 for PEUSG; 90.4%, 89.4%, 90%, and 0.630 for MMG; and 88.9%, 90.9%, 90% and 0.798 for USG. The diagnostic accuracy of PEUSG was significantly higher than those of PE and MG (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: These data suggest that office-based ultrasonography of the breast performed by a surgeon is a useful adjunct to clinical evaluation of the breast mass and permits timely and cost-effective patient care.