Dear Booty,Thank you for your post. In general, I follow the patient's gynecologists guidelines for mammograms which is commonly to start at age 40. While getting a mammogram earlier is not a requirement for surgery, it is not harmful either. 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer so it is a valuable but not perfect screening tool. I would talk it over with your surgeon and find what you both agree with. In your case, since you are so close, it is not a bad idea to go ahead and get it early.
Pablo Prichard, MD
As long as you have a
normal breast exam without any unusual findings before the age of 40 then you
aren't usually required to get a mammogram.
If you have a strong family history of breast cancer in your family then
you may want to check and see if your insurance company will cover the cost of
a mammogram before 40 years old. If they will cover the cost then you may feel
much more comfortable in your decision to have a breast augmentation. Some
insurance companies will cover a single screening mammogram after 35 and before
After undergoing your surgery you will still be able to
obtain mammograms - they will simply take 3 x-rays instead of 2. There is some
mildly conflicting data regarding breast augmentation and breast cancer, but
the general consensus is that breast augmentation does not change your risk of
developing breast cancer, nor does it change the detection or treatment of
breast cancer. If you want to have breast augmentation then you do not have to wait until you're 40, you can have it done right now.
In order to get more information and resources in your
preparation you can download my free breast augmentation planner at
aBetterBreast.com. This helpful resource is packed full of vital information
and links to other helpful websites that will help you in your preparation.
Mammograms are not "required", just recommended, and those recommendations are a bit fluid nowadays with a lot being put on family history as well. At any rate, the simplest approach is just to go ahead and get your mammogram, know that you are clear and have your surgery. You WILL still be able to do mammograms after though extra views are necessary to adequately visualize the breast tissue.
Given your desire to proceed with breast augmentation surgery, I do not think that it is necessary for you to wait until you are 40 to proceed with the operation. Simply, go ahead and have your mammogram done prior to proceeding with breast augmentation surgery. Best wishes.
American Cancer Society guidelines call for a mammogram at 40 years old. There has been a lot of debate lately on how effective mammograms really are, but most surgeons would agree with the 40 year number. The breast tissue is overall a little less visible with an implant in place, so I think a good baseline mammogram before augmentation is a good idea.
Most guidelines call for a screening mammogram between 35 and 40. If you are ready to have your augmentation, go ahead and get your mammogram now and proceed with the augmentation.
If your insurance permits you to have a screening mammogram now, and you're interested in having your breast surgery pretty soon, I'd go ahead with the study now.
Otherwise, if they won't cover the xray, then I wouldn't hold off on the procedure. My patients are usually asked to forego a mammogram for 4 months after their surgery, so you should be able to have your surgery and be ready in time when you hit 40.
Also, knowing that you should not experience any difficulty with your mammogram following a submuscular augmentation, I would have no worries about delaying the study until after the surgery.
It is best that you start with screening mammograms at age 40 unless you have a strong family history or an area of concern in your breast exam. If you are hoping to have breast surgery soon, I would ask you to have your mammogram prior to your surgery so it really depends on your timing. I am fairly conservative in screening so any patient between 35-40 will have a screening mammogram pre-operatively but different plastic surgeons will have different recommendations.
I hope this helps.
There is nothing about waiting or not waiting to have breast augmentation that should drive your decision. If you desire to have breast augmentation, your surgeon may require you to have a mammogram beforehand. I find it unlikely that anyone would be outright opposed to your getting your mammogram early if it is before your surgery.
Regarding the decision to go forward with your augmentation, I encourage all of my patients to be certain that this is a surgery that they desire. If you are newly altered from your first surgery, it may be reasonable to give a little time to really think about the procedure before committing.
I am a strong advocate of breast cancer screening before augmentation, and I will request that patients be current with American Cancer Society recommendations prior to having surgery. For you, unless you are considered high risk based on family history and/or genetics, you are due for your first screening mammogram at 40. You have several options that will keep you within the guidelines:
-Have your augmentation now, and have your first mammogram 6 months post-op
-Have your first mammogram now, and go ahead with your augmentation
-Wait til you turn 40, have a mammogram, and then have your augmentation
I'd recommend the second option if you're motivated to have implants soon. I prefer to have the mammogram prior to surgery, on the off chance that something needs further work-up, which can sometimes include a needle biopsy, not where you want to be with brand new implants.
Best of luck-