Are Abnormal Mammogram Results Common for Women Who Have Undergone Breast Reductions?

I underwent my breast reduction in July 2010 and I had my first post op mammogram last week (I informed the Tech of my BR). Unfortunately, I was called this morning and told that I needed to come in for additional testing because the radiologist noticed a cluster in my right breast and other changes that weren’t noted in my previous mammograms. Of course I plan to follow up, but I was wondering if call backs for additional testing common for women who’ve undergone breast reduction surgery?

Doctor Answers 9

Mammograms after breast reduction

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Your first mammogram after breast reduction will be a new baseline, as the breast will be changed and contain the artifacts of the reduction procedure. Comparing your new mammogram to the old is very likely to have an architecture which is different, and may require an additional view to sort things out.

Best of luck,


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Abnormal mammo

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This  is not uncommon following a breast reduction.Soemtimes there are areas of fat breakdown which can calcify so this may be what that is.Usually they can tell so iot is important to followup.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Mammograms after breast reduction

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It is very common to have an a change in mammogram after reduction.  The good news is that it is usually easy to distinguish post-surgical changes from cancer or pre-cancer using repeat scans and other modalitites such as ultrasound and MRI.  Many women have these changes after surgery, so don;t worry too much, but do follow-up with your doctor's recommendations for screening.


I like to get a baseline Mamogram at around six months.

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This is a very interesting question and this is something I discuss with my patients. Yes, there can be changes after mamoplasty. Fat necrosis and scaring can be confusing on mamogram. I usually send my patients for a "baseline" post op mamogram when the breasts have softened and I think they have reached an end result. I warn them that they could get that call back from the radiologist and not to get too concerned. Often I can discuss the case with the radiologist and he will be able to sastify himself that the changes are a result of the surgery. On occasion however the changes have been suspicious enough to warrant biopsy. This can be done with an ultrasound guided needle and little pain or downtime. It is best to get these things out of the way early on to avoid latter confusion in my opinion.

Thomas R. Walek, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon

Changes In Mammograms Common Following Surgery

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It’s not unusual for patients to have changes in their mammograms following breast reduction surgery.Following breast reduction surgery significant changes can occur in the breast architecture.These include scarring, cyst formation, fat necrosis and microcalcifications from dissolving fat.
Under these circumstances, it’s appropriate to obtain a new baseline study six months after surgery.Changes that have occurred following surgery may require further investigation. For this reason, it’s not unusual for radiologists to obtain additional views, ultrasound studies, digital mammography and MRI studies.
Once a new baseline has been established, patients more or less return to their pre-operative routine.If you have concerns about mammography following breast reduction, it’s important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon.Your surgeon should be able to clarify the issues and alleviate your anxiety.

Are abnormal mammogram results common for women who have undergone breast reductions?

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Hello!  Thank you for your question!   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 surgery.  I typically recommend a preoperative mammogram prior to any breast procedure for a baseline, as the architecture will change after the procedure.  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.  It is possible that you may be called back at the first mammogram after your procedure, as it will have changed.  This doesn't necessarily mean that there will be a suspicious lesion, but just for confirmation.  Best wishes!  Hope that this helps!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Changes on Mammogram after Breast Reduction

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Thank you for the question.  

After breast reduction surgery, mammograms may “visualize” scar tissue/calcifications related to the surgical procedure. These findings may generate more callbacks for additional testing compared to patients who have not had  surgical procedures.

Despite knowing that  there may be “false positives” on mammogram studies I tell patients that is still worth undergoing biopsy for any radiographic lesion that appears to be suspicious for malignancy.

I hope this helps.


Abnormal mammogram after breast reduction

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There can be changes after any breast surgery due to scarring, calcifications or fat necrosis, which can look different or suspicious on mammogram. It's so important to get routine studies and do any follow-up recommended so that the radiologist can compare the imaging studies and determine if anything else needs to be done.  For now, make your appointment for the additional testing and try to relax knowing that you are taking care of yourself!

Abnormal mammography after breast reduction

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Any breast procedure will create regions of calcification within the breast tissue as part of the healing process. Its unavoidable. These larger calcification patterns are easily distinguishable from the micro-calcifications that signify malignant breast tissue on digital mammography and breast MRI.

Your pre and post reduction mammograms will be very different in appearance, and it sounds like your mammographer is seeking additional views in order to 'clear' the changes he/she is noting on the post-op mammogram.

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.