Subpectoral silicone implants and mammogram interpretation, vs saline subpectoral implants.

If I get my implants placed subpectorally, does it matter if they are silicone or saline for my mammograms to be interpreted accurately? I mean-is one just as easy to visualise as the other subpectorally? I figured I had to have saline, but my surgeon says 'no--they are both in a silicone shell anyway and silicone would feel more natural'-I get yearly mammograms and yearly breast MRIs btw (here in Canada). Would one be as accurate as the other subpectorally? I thought saline was radiolucent?

Doctor Answers 4

Mammograms and implants

Saline implants are easier to see through during mammography, but most mammographers are comfortable to adjust their images for silicone implants so that they can visualize the tissue adequately.


New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Mammograms with Saline vs Silicone gel

You bring up some excellent questions. Even though saline is radiolucent, the shell is indeed made of silicone. Though the shell will impede visualization, it will do so less than the radio dense silicone gel. Can this be meaningful with mammograms, yes. If you also get MRIs, the difference may be insignificant. Tough call. As far as the feel of the saline implants, we now have the Ideal Implant. It is a saline implant which is quite impressive and really does feel like a gel implant.  I appreciate your research!                                                         

Peter D. Geldner, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Subpectoral silicone versus saline implants for mammogram interpretation

Thank you for sharing your question and congratulations on pursuing a breast augmentation.  As either implant will sit behind the muscle, displacing your natural breast gland forward, either will afford equivalent results at being able to interpret and evaluate your mammograms.  Studies have shown that in comparing women with and without implants placed in either position the timing of any breast cancer diagnosis is equivalent.  Implants do require additional mammographic views, however.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Subpectoral silicone implants and mammogram interpretation, vs saline subpectoral implants.

Most important  for adequate mammograms after breast implants is that the implants to be soft and movable without capsular contracture and that the implants be placed beneath the chest muscle which will allow more of the breast to be retracted forward for better mammogram results.Although either saline or silicone implants under the muscle which are soft and movable can provide equally good mammograms, the one concern and my opinion would be that too firm compression by the mammogram technician could possibly rerupture the saline implant.It is unlikely that an experienced mammogram technician could rupture the new cohesive gel gummy bear breast implants which do feel more natural then saline implants and also have available a very viable extended warranty.

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