Breast Series Two...Breast Implants and Mammograms
If you are considering breast augmentation, you want to make sure that you are still able to get the effective mammograms you need to protect yourself from breast cancer. Breast implants do make mammograms more challenging, which make interpreting your results more complex.
I tell my patients all the time that the implants can obscure mammogram results enough that extra views often need to be taken after your breast augmentation. Most patients will feel panicky when they hear the words “We need additional views” or an “ultrasound is needed”. This is actually a good thing and means your radiologist is doing their job.
How Breast Implants Affect Mammograms
There have been numerous studies on the breast and the effects of breast implants. One study that reviewed the records of more than 13, 000 women says that the sensitivity of mammograms after breast augmentation is about 56%, compared to 67% for women without breast implants. However, the study said that tumors were of similar size when discovered in women with and without breast implants, so the study authors concluded that breast implants do not significantly delay detection of breast implants and more importantly breast implants are not the cause of breast cancers.
Don’t Worry About Your Implants
Implant rupture is also a slight risk during a mammogram, but it is much rarer with new implants, which are tested during the manufacturing process to ensure they are capable of withstanding great force. Old or weakened implants involve more risk of rupture. However, certain mammogram techniques can be used to limit the risk of rupture, and when you weigh this risk against the risk of letting breast cancer go undetected, the choice is obvious: undergoing regular mammograms is much more important.
Find the right facility– Search for a clinic with radiologists who know how to properly screen women with breast implants.
Always mention your implants– Make sure you mention that you have breast implants when you are scheduling your appointment. and remind the staff just before your appointment as well. This way, the facility’s staff and radiologist are prepared for the extra steps and techniques that may be necessary. Also, you may want to proactively ask to work with a technician who experienced with implants.
Once you get your mammogram, ask for a copy and keep it in your files-You will most likely not go back to the same mammography center for the rest of your life. When you move, make
Dr. Devlin’s Personal Commitment to Safety
Dr. Michael Devlin has extensive experience, having performed over 1,000 breast augmentations alone. He does not want to put any of his patients at risk. During your consultation he will talk to you about your medical history, including the occurrence of breast cancer in your family. He will then make personal recommendations to ensure you get a breast augmentation that can achieve your cosmetic results. For women in their 30’s and older he will recommend a baseline mammogram before any breast procedure. And after your breast augmentation, Dr. Devlin can refer you to a trusted radiologist with experience in screening breast implant patients.
To learn more about breast augmentation and mammograms, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Devlin at his Little Rock, Arkansas office.
Check back soon for Part Three of our Breast Series: Capsular Contracture Explained