How early should I have a mammogram prior to surgery?

Am booked in for surgery in October. Been asked by my PS to have a mammogram despite being 39 with no family history of breast cancer, is this a normal preoperative requirement as never had one before? Do I need to plan it so scan occurs in certain time of the menstrual cycle? Any advice much appreciated.

Doctor Answers 5

Mammogram prior to surgery?

Recommendations for mammography prior to surgery will vary from one practice to another.

I would suggest you follow the radiologists' recommendation in regard to mammography. Assuming you are  40 years of age or older mammogram prior to surgery will be helpful. If you are younger than 40,  then it may or may not be indicated depending on your specic situation (personal/family history of breast cancer and/or  specific concerns on physical examination).  If in doubt, your primary care and/or Gyn physician's  recommendations will be helpful.  I hope this helps.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Mammogram and breast reduction

I would recommend that you have a mammogram prior to surgery given your age. It is very helpful to have a pre-operative baseline, and then have something to compare after the procedure with your future mammograms

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Mammograms before breast augmentation

Great question. It is likely that you will see some variability in the answers to this question. There are different guidelines from different organizations regarding when a woman should start getting mammograms. Some recommend an annual mammogram starting at age 40. Others recommend starting at age 50. In the filed of plastic surgery I have seen two approaches. One school recommends patients who are having any kind of breast surgery (augmentation, lift or reduction) have a mammogram if they are 30 or older. The thought is that we would like to know that prior to your surgery there is no breast disease present and we would like your radiologist to establish your baseline for future comparison. The other school of thought is that plastic surgery patients should follow the guidelines established for all women and only have a preoperative mammogram if they are 40 or older. Consideration should be given to your family history. If you have any first degree relatives (mother or sisters) who have had breast cancer (especially if under 50) you should strongly consider having the preoperative mammogram.  

Justin West, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews


Yes, at age 39, I would encourage you to get a mammogram before any type of breast surgery.  The ACS recommends annual mammography beginning at age 40.  But, due to the fact you are scheduled for breast surgery, getting the mammogram at 39 is recommended.  It is good to have a baseline image of your breast tissue, prior to any surgical rearrangement of tissue.

Best of luck to you,

Tracy L. Cordray, MD
Charleston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Mammogram before breast reduction surgery

Hi, your doctor is asking you to have a mammogram as baseline of what your breast parenchyma looks like and for the radiologist to understand better any changes you may have in a mammogram after you breast reduction surgery. It will be easier for the radiologist to see any postoperative changes comparing them to your previous mammogram. It is basic a footprint of your natural breast. It is recommended. Good luck with your surgery.

Silvia C. Rotemberg, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.