Breast Implants for Patient with Dense Breasts and Fibroid Cysts?

Should someone with a strong family history of breast cancer not consider Breast implants? I have dense breasts, many fibroid cysts and my mother has breast cancer.

I am considering a bilateral implant to make my breasts symmetrical. They are A cup size different. Would an implant hide tumors from an MRI? Are there customized implants for my situation?

Doctor Answers 6

Implants and Cancer

This is a very good question and you need to discuss this with your plastic surgeon. It does not increase your risk or interfere with the screening for breast cancer. What I would recommend would be to have the implants placed thru an inframammary incision however, rather than cutting thru the breast tissue. By using the periareolar approach, which I do prefer, there may be some questions in the future if you happen to develop mammogram changes in the future, whether it was the surgery or if they are significant changes in the breast tissue. The inframammary appoach will disturb the breast tissue least. Just my 0.02

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Cancer detection

Implants can interfere with a mammogram. The new digital mammograms are better than the older style mammograms. If the radiologist can not fully visualize your breast they may need to go to a MRI or ultrasound. One thing to know is that there is not an increased risk of the late detection of breast cancer due to implants.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast implants and family history

A strong family history of breast cancer should make you think twice about getting breast implants.  You should discuss this carefully with an oncologist, family doctor and even a plastic surgeon to give you the information you wil need to make an informed decision.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast augmentation can be appropriate with family breast cancer history

Despite a family history of breast cancer you can still safely complete a breast augmentation procedure. There is no information to suggest that breast implants will prevent detection or delay detection of breast cancer. Indeed patients who have had breast cancer can elect breast augmentation of the remaining uninvolved breast to improve symmetry and feel of the reconstructed breast. If breast cancer were to occur in a breast which had been augmented, the treatment and chance for cure would not be impacted, and, the extra skin envelop produced as a result of the the breast augmentation may be beneficial in reconstruction after mastectomy.

Breast implants do cast a shadow on a routine mammogram and it is important to notify the mammographer of the implant to obtain the additional views necessary to around the implant fully. The implant will not hide a breast cancer on an MRI study.

Augmentation in most patients is performed placing the implant under the chest muscle, pushing all the breast tissue forward. Breast self examination should be continued and will help with the early detection of an abnormal lump. Before augmentation you can consider a mammogram and should have a through breast examination. Your family history may not warrant genetic testing, though it is also reasonable to discuss this with your primary care physician or OB-GYN.

Your family history is a risk factor and just that. It does not mean that you will develop breast cancer. With knowledge and preparation you can be a good candidate for breast augmentation.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast Implants and Family History of Breast Cancer

In order to get as much information as possible, in addition to your plastic surgeon and family physician, you may consult an ocnologist (cancer specialist) and possible one that specializes in breast. There are certified breast centers throughout the US and you may be able to get a consultation that would involve the "team". You need to know the type of cancer your mother had as well, but a team approach helps you to deal with the physical as well as the psychological aspects of your problems (breast asymmetry as well as cancer concerns). Only after obtaining all of this information can you make an informed decision.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast implants and cancer


If you have a strong family history of breast cancer, you should consider the decision to undergo breast augmentation carefully. i would recommend speaking to your family physician about your history, in order to evaluate whether or not being tested for the BRCA gene might be indicated. Some women with a positive test elect to undergo bilateral mastectomies followed by reconstruction with implants. If you do have a positive test, breast augmentation would certainly not be recommended. If you have a negative test, and you do undergo augmentation, placement underneath the muscle will allow better imaging of your breast tissue on mammogram and MRI. However, there is still always the risk that the implant can hide a tumor. There are no customized implants for your situation. Therefore, I suggest that you speak with your family physician and plastic surgeon frankly in order to arrive at the best decision. Good luck.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 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.