I have breast lumps for about 3 years now, several doctors advised me to get surgery and have them removed. However I did not listen to them and over time my breast lumps got smaller. I am considering breast augmentation and I'm wondering if having breast lumps prior to surgery may have health risks or complications?
Breast Implants Safe if Lumps Are Present?
Doctor Answers 13
Breast lumps in a patient with implants for augmentation or enlargement
The lumps themselves will not be effected by the surgery. However, I would strongly recommend obtaining a new mammogram prior to surgery and at least 6 months but no more than 1 year after surgery to establish your augmented breast baseline.
The real issue with this situation occurs when and if you develop a new lump after surgery. Typically the question of a benign or malignant mass must be resolved. Although mammogram, ultrasound and MRI may be useful, ultimately you may require a biopsy. If you put yourself in the shoes of the general surgeon, are you willing to stick a needle in a breast with an implant and risk popping the implant? Some surgeons are willing to perform this service while others are reluctant. It may be best to identify a general surgeon preoperatively who can provide follow up for you.
Breast implants and breast lumps
The first thing you need to do is to be sure the lumps are benign. There are characteristic appearances on mammograms and ultrasounds that now allow radiologists to make a call often about what the lump is fairly often. Nothing replaces a tissue diagnosis, though, and either having them removed or at least needle biopsied is reasonable.
As long as this is done before implants are placed and as long as the implants are placed below the muscle, most surgeons would go ahead. Your family history must also be considered. If you have a strong family history for breast cancer and if you have lumps, you might be wise to not have an augmentation.
Benign Breast Lumps and Breast Augmentation
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Breast Lumps Prior to Breast Augmentation
Lumpy bumpy breasts are not uncommon in many young women. Benign Fibrocystic disease (as many of us were trained to call it) is more aptly called fibrocystic condition because of the high rate at which it affects young women. This is kind of analogous to contour irregularity after liposuction-it happens to everyone to varying degrees so it's not a complications. But I digress.
Getting a subpectoral breast augmentation is safe. You will have to tell your radiographer when you get a mammogram that you have implants so that they do the 4th view, the Eckland view. During this view the implant is pushed in one direction and the breast in another then mashed in between the plates (sounds fun does it not?)
So go ahead with your surgery. It is safe.
Breast lumps and breast augmentation
Investigate breast lumps prior to augmentation
You did not mention your age which could have implications to your overall care. It is important to know the overall density of your breasts and if there are any potential problems with accurate visualization of your breasts with mammography. An implant may interfere with your mammogram. If you have continued problems with cysts the mammogram may not be as effective at early detection. If you simply have fibrocystic disease, which is not a pre-malignant condition, then you should be fine to go forward with your planned breast augmentation.
Breast Augmentation with Fibrocystic Breasts
The vast majority of American Plastic surgeons are fully trained General surgeons. As such we have a good understanding of Breast Disease and a healthy respect for the ability of benign-appearing breast "cysts" to actually represent something more ominous. If you have a family history of breast cancer, or if you want to know FOR SURE what these breasts masses are - you should see a Breast Surgeon and potentially have needle guided core biopsies of the masses. A baseline mammogram should also be done.
You must realize that while Saline breast implants minimally obscure the breast from full visualization by mammogram (much less than silicone gel), they still distort breast anatomy somewhat. As such, if you want TOTAL peace of mind as to the safety of your masses, it is well worth checking their real identity before potentially covering them up.
Dr. P. Aldea
Cystic breasts and augmentation
Many women have successful, safe breast augmentation surgery in the face of cystic breasts. Other important concerns include your age, and whether you have a family history of breast cancer. Most plastic surgeons obtain a baseline mammogram for augmentation patients over 30 years of age. Placement of implants under the breast tissue does cause some compression of the tissue and may make imaging with mammography slightly less effective. However, most mammographers today are well familiar with how to obtain good studies in the patient with breast implants. In light of the recent recommendation to delay screening mammography until age 50 except in high risk patients, it is difficult to say what the benefit of mammography is in young breast augmentation patients. Past studies have shown that breast cancer is less common in breast augmentation patients than in the general population. This is a somewhat biased finding however, because we generally screen out patients that are at higher risk for breast cancer when we do our breast augmentation consultations. In answer to your question, the presence of breast lumps, as long as they are benign does not increase the health risks or complications associated with breast augmentation. Consultation with your gynecologist can set you along the right path. Good luck!
Breast lumps need complete evaluation before breast augmentation.
1) You need to go to a breast surgery specialist (not a plastic surgeon) first. I work with Dr Lauren Cassell, who is excellent.
2) The breast surgery specialist will tell you what studies or biopsies you need.
3) Once the breast lumps have been removed or at least determined to be entirely benign, then it is safe to consider breast augmentation.
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.