How are cancer screenings/mammograms done when you've got breast implants?
Breast Implants Cancer Screening?
Doctor Answers (4)
Breast implants and cancer screening
Breast implants do not interfere with self-examination or physical examination by your physician in checking for palpable breast lumps, as all of your breast tissue lies above the implant. Implants do not interfere with ultrasound or MRI examination of the breast. Implants do make standard screening mammograms a little more difficult, as the image of the implant does block the view of some breast tissue on a standard view. Most radiologists feel that they can obtain satisfactory mammograms in breast implant patients by taking additional views that displace the breast tissue away from the implant. Many radiologists feel that visualizing breast tissue during mammograms is easier in patient's whose implants are under the pectoralis muscle, while some radiologists feel that it does not make that much difference. There is no higher incidence of breast cancer in breast implant patients.
Breast implants cancer screening.
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, with breast procedures. 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. I typically recommend a preoperative mammogram prior to breast surgery, since the architecture of the breast will 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), and annually thereafter. If there is anything concerning on mammogram, other imaging modalities would be utilized, including ultrasound and/or MRI. Best wishes! Hope that this helps!
Breast Cancer Screening After Implants
Since the implant is entirely behind the breast tissue, they do not interfere with examination. They do, however, require that you change Mammography method. Screening mammograms use only 2 views and can miss problems with implants present. Therefore, you need a Diagnostic Mammogram, one with at least 3 views. Extensive studies have shown that with this one change, the chance of finding breast cancer at the same stage and with the same chance of survival and cure is identical between women with and without breast implants. MRI and Ultrasound is unchanged by the implants.
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Breast Cancer Screening With Implants
Both saline and silicone implants interfere with mammograms to some extent. Experienced mammographers will attempt to displace the implants posteriorly to better visualize breast tissue (this is somewhat easier with implants placed behind or underneath the muscle. Severe capsular contracture could also interfere with self-examination.
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.