I Have Fibrocsytic Breasts and Want to Get Impalnts. Is It Safe?

I'm 5'4 120lbs,33 yrs old.I have saggy breasts from having children and would like to have a breast lift and implants. I'm also going for a Tummy tuck. I am very concerned about the implants because 4 yrs ago I was diagnosed with Fibrocystic breasts. I've been getting mammograms and sonograms once a year since I found out. My GYN is against me getting implants, she says it will obscure the view from the mammograms. My PS says it's no problem. Should I or shouldn't I?

Doctor Answers 21

Breast Augmentation with history of fibrocystic disease

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It is safe to proceed with your cosmetic breast surgery with a history of fibrocystic disease.   First, it is important to have a baseline mammogram before your surgery.  After surgery, you should continue with annual breast cancer screening with imaging and continue with breast self exams monthly.  Although it is true that implants can hide a very small amount is tissue in mammograms, a non-invasive ultrasound can easily visualize and evaluate this potential hidden area.  In addition, if there is any concerns beyond the ultrasound, an MRI is also an additional option for evaluation if needed.

Implants with fibrocystic breast

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This is a controversial question.I think self examination plus good mammograms are essential.also do you have a strong family history of breast cancer?Radiologists that do mammograms feel with new techniques and equipment you can do an excellent job of screening.

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

Breast Augmentation with Fibrocystic Disease

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Excellent question!

We now have evidence based medicine for breast augmentation surgery. Level of evidence ranges from A to E. A "E" level does not mean it is bad, it just means the evidence is based on expert opinion and retroactive chart reviews rather than well-designed studies (level A).

There is no evidence breast augmentation surgery increases the risk of breast cancer (level B evidence).  An implant placed over the muscle will interfere with mammography significantly more than if the implant is placed under the muscle. If the implant is placed over the muscle, ultra-sound examination has been shown to be more accurate than mammography (level B evidence).  Both are, therefore, recommended.

I, personally, have never placed implants over the muscle for the above reason.

Best of Luck.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

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Implants and Breast Surveillance

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The presence of breast implants do decrease the ability to visualize all of the breast tissue on mammography. This depends in part on how much breast tissue there is in relation to the implants and whether they are above or below the muscle. Most radiologists are familiar with implant displacement views in order to better visualize the breast tissue, and for anything suspicious, breast MRIs are becoming increasingly more common. A history of fibrocystic breast disease is not a contraindication for breast augmentation.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
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Mommy make-over

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90-95% of breast tissue is vidualized if the implant is placed under the muscle and 85-90% if placed on top. Large surveys have shown that breast implants do not delay the diagnosis of breast cancer. I would probably recommend getting a baseline mammogram prior to surgery. Watch my videos.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
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I Have Fibrocsytic Breasts and Want to Get Impalnts. Is It Safe?

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As you can read the majority of expert posters feel with a mammographic clearance there is no issue with obtaining implants. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl J. Blinski

Breast implant, fibrocystic disease of breasts

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In breasts with fibrocystic changes it is safer to have a reasonable size implant under the muscle.

Sanjay Parashar, MD
Dubai Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Implants and mammograms

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you are safe to have breast augmentation with your diagnosis of fibrocystic breast disease. It has been well established in numerous studies that breast implants will not increase your risk of developing breast cancer and with proper mammogram technique, do not obscure or delay a diagnosis of breast cancer if it occurs. Be sure you have a baseline mammogram.

Jack Peterson, MD
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Fibrocystic breasts and implants

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It has been well established that breast implants do not hinder the detection of breast cancers - provided you obtain the appropriate mammographic views.  The implants should be placed behind the muscle so there is a plane between the breast tissue and the implants.  

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast implants are safe for fibrocystic breasts!

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Actually, your GYN and your PS are both right, and both wrong. While the presence of breast implants can require special mammographic techniques (Eklund, or displacement technique) plus additional views, most breast radiologists feel that they can adequately examine 99% of your breast tissue mammographically for cancer detection. Fibrocystic changes make detection of breast cancer more difficult, implants or not.

Breast implants neither increase nor decrease the risk of breast cancer, and since most radiologists have the same ease (or difficulty) in diagnosing breast cancer in fibrocystic breasts, this is not a concern--except for the need to use the Eklund technique and take the additional view(s).

Especially with implants behind the muscle, both mammography and breast self-examination are still possible and advised per your doctor's recommendations.

Of course, having a soft breast (no capsular contracture) makes both self-exam and mammography easier, not to mention a superior natural result! If this is something you want to do, then by all means feel safe in proceeding--your risks are just the same either way, but you will be happier with implants!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 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.