Saline Breast Implants Safe for Microcalcifications and Mammogram?

I am 42 years old and was told when I wa 39 that I have microcalcifications in both breasts. I have annual mammograms and there is no change in my tissue. I'm considering saline breast augmentation. Should I be concerned about microcalcifications and visibilty on mammograms with saline implants?

Doctor Answers (6)

Saline breast implants safe for mammogram?

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Hello!  Thank you for your question!  This a great question, which is often asked by patients.  There is no link to breast implants, either saline or silicone, and cancer.  All supporting literature has demonstrated this fact and no association with cancer, autoimmune disorders, or autoinflammatory disorders.  

If it was told to you that your microcalcifications were benign and have been stable, there should not be an issue for you to have the augmentation procedure.  

It is known that women are more in tune with their breasts and more diligent with examination and feeling/knowing the contour of her breasts, thus able to identify any abnormality sooner.  Imaging studies of the breasts are similar to imaging without breast implants and cancers are not hidden either by the presence of breast implants.  It is true that with breast implants do obscure a portion of the breast during imaging studies, but with the Eklund displacement views, which should be done when having mammograms with breast implants, there is minimal change.  You should remain proactive with your monthly self examination, annual clinical examination, and mammograms beginning at age 40 (unless family history, as directed by the Radiological Society).  If there is anything concerning on mammogram, other imaging modalities would be utilized, including ultrasound and/or MRI.  Best wishes!  Hope that this helps!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast Implants, Microcalcifications and Mammograms

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Microcalcifications and benign lumps are not a contraindication for breast augmentation if not cancerous. I would recommend placing the breast implant in a submuscular position so that examination and mammograms can continue to monitor your breast lumps including having one pre-operatively for a baseline. I would also recommend using a inferior mammary incision to minimize scarring of the breast tissue. 

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Implants and microcalcifications

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 Saline implants usually do not impact mammograms as much as silicone implants. Of course not having an implant will always give a clearer image.  The best way to look at microcalcifications is by obtaining an MRI.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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Saline Implants Microcalcifications and visibilty on mammograms

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While the MRI is a MUCH better tool to detect breast pathology, the mammogram has been the standard in breast surveillance.

If you want to have a 100% unobstructed / unaletered view of your breasts and potential worrisome areas, you should not have any breast implants placed (and especially do not consider fat grafting to the breasts which INCREASES microcalcifications). Saline implants are largely transparent to the radiation of mammograms and with special displacement (EKLUND) views, especially with the implants placed under the muscle, much of the augmented breast is examinable with mammograms. But it is never 100%.

You need to decide if the risk is worth it.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Microcalcifications and breast augmentation

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All breast implants will block some of the mammogram beams and therefor can miss areas of the breast. Certain techniques are used to visualize as much of the breast tissue as possible. Regardless of having calcifications or not that is the case. This is the information but only you can decide if you will or will not have implants based on this information.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Breast augmentation and mammograms

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Depending on the relative proportion of your breast to implant size, it may be more difficult to visualize anywhere from 5-15% of the breast tissue on a mammogram. This can be lowered by placing the implant under the muscle. Some

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.