My question has to do with breast cancer detection and augmentation. When I had my last mammogram the radiology tech said that the implants can obscure the view of tumors/cancer that a mammogram would normally pick up. Have studies been done on this? Thanks!
Mammogram & Breast Augmentation. Can Implants Obscure the View During Mammograms?
Doctor Answers 15
Yes, MRI and ultrasound can add additional information
Yes, the very nature of mammograms makes having a breast implant result in less visibility of the breast tissue. Other techniques such as MRI and ultrasound do not have this issues and can be used instead of the mammogram or in addition to the mammogram for additional information. I am not sure when the transition will occur but is makes sense that at some point mammograms may take a back seat to MRI and/or US since these techniques do not expose the breasts to radiation.
All the best,
Dr Remus Repta
Breast Augmentation and Mammography?
Thank you for the question.
Yes, breast implants can decrease the amount of breast tissue visualized on mammography. Nevertheless, mammography remains a useful screening to detect breast cancer. You will find that the mammography centers will use “displacement techniques” to help minimize the interference of breast implants with breast tissue visualization.
Sub muscular ( dual plane) breast implant positioning decreases this interference compared to the sub glandular breast implant positioning. Based on studies that I am familiar with the loss of breast tissue visualization caused by sub muscular breast implants is approximately 6%.
I hope this helps.
Mammogram & breast augmentation. Can implants obscure the view during mammograms?
It is known that women are more in tune with their breasts and more diligent with examination and feeling/knowing the contour of her breasts, thus able to identify any abnormality sooner. Imaging studies of the breasts are similar to imaging without breast implants and cancers are not hidden either by the presence of breast implants. It is true that with breast implants do obscure a portion of the breast during imaging studies, but with the Eklund displacement views, which should be done when having mammograms with breast implants, there is minimal change. You should remain proactive with your monthly self examination, annual clinical examination, and mammograms beginning at age 40 (unless family history, as directed by the Radiological Society). If there is anything concerning on mammogram, other imaging modalities would be utilized, including ultrasound and/or MRI. Best wishes! Hope that this helps!
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Mammography and implants
Yes, there have been studies that have shown that implants can mask some tissue on mammography. MRI is probably the most sensitive test if there is any thing suspicious.
Mammograms are ok
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Breast Implants Can Decrease Visibility On Mammograms
That being said, it is easier to obtain clear results from your mammogram if your breast implants are submuscular. It’s also typically easier to view results if the patient does not have much breast tissue.
MAMMOGRAMS AND BREAST IMPLANTS
Be well and good luck!
Mammogram and breast implants
The simple answer is yes implants do obscure breast tissue more than native breast mammography.
The important aspect of screening is a multimodal approach, ie
- Clinical exam. There have been some studies that show that implants infact increase clinical detection of lumps because they push the tumour more superficially.
- Imaging, be that mammogram, USS or MRI
- biopsy of suspicious lesions
I hope this helps.
How do Breast Implants affect Mammography?
Mammography can still be performed with breast implants in place. Mammography technicians are trained to use specialized techniques for women with breast implants that help to image the breast tissue around the curved surface of the implants. Be sure to let the mammography provider know that you have breast implants when you schedule your mammogram.
It is not possible to obtain a mammogram by imaging through the implants, only around them. Breast implants therefore potentially do reduce a radiologist's ability to visualize breast tissue completely. This is more of a concern with implants placed immediately behind the breast ('sub-mammary', aka 'sub-glandular' position), so for that reason the sub-pectoral position is strongly preferred.
There is no conclusive evidence which shows that women with breast implants are diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage than women without implants - which one would expect if breast implants actually delayed the detection of breast cancer. Likewise, women with breast implants do not appear to have a higher mortality rate from breast cancer compared to women without breast implants. Breast implants do not obscure or interfere with patient self-examination or physician breast examination, which are at least as important as (if not more important than) mammography for breast cancer screening.
Mammography is currently the recommended mass screening test for breast cancer, but it has significant limitations due to a high number of false positives (which leads to biopsies when no cancer is actually present) and false negatives (which means a cancer is missed when it is present). The most sensitive and specific radiologic test for breast cancer is a contrast-enhanced MRI scan, which refers to an MRI that is enhanced by the administration of an intravenous 'contrast' agent. The contrast agent helps to 'light up' a breast cancer on the MRI scan when one is present. Breast implants do not interfere with breast MRI scanning in any way.
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.