During breast implant and/or lift if there were lumps or possibly cancer, would the plastic surgeon see it?

During breast implant and/or lift (augmentation / mastopexy) IF there were breast lumps or possibly cancer, would the plastic surgeon notice during one of these procedures? There is a history in my family and although it's not a serious enough concern to see a specific Doctor for this, I was wondering if during one of those procedures, you as a plastic surgeon would notice it?

Doctor Answers 2

Breast lift can you find a cancer?

Thanks for your question. Breasts by their nature are full of lumps and bumps,so a plastic surgeon would not always be able to see or pick up a breast cancer at the time of surgery.  In order to minimize surprises at surgery we always recommend a recent screening mammogram prior to surgery when age appropriate. In my practice we follow the guidelines of the american society of obstetrics and gynecology of a baseline Mammogram at 40 years old. If a patient has a family history or has concerns we may order a mammogram sooner.

Be certain to examine your breasts monthly and if you have any concerns bring them to the attention of your PS.

In some cases breast cancers are identified post operatively. That is why breast tissue is  Is always sent for pathologic evaluation when removed.

If a breast cancer or suspicious mass is identified at surgery we will generally stop the surgery to avoid burrning bridges for further treatment or evaluation.


Hope this helps.


Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Breast implants and breast cancer screening: What's the best timing?

When concerned about breast health and considering cosmetic breast surgery, it is always wise and better to be evaluated before than during surgery. Your physicians and surgeon can help you with this. Protocols for evaluation vary slightly, with preoperative mammograms recommended for woman beginning at age 40 or 45. I also recommend preoperative mammograms for women of any age who have a family history of a mother or sister with breast cancer. For more information on this and similar topics, I recommend a plastic surgery Q&A book like "The Scoop On Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths."

Ted Eisenberg, DO, FACOS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 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.