Mammograms and Implants?

I had a mammogram 2 weeks ago with a new tech. During the procedure I did not like what she was doing-it just felt odd and not what I have been used to. I now feel like one implant has been "dislodged" - moves around, feels heavy, uncomfortable. Is it possible that the pocket was stretched? I have had the implants 7 years and have had a mammogram every year since then with no problems. Would it be possible for whatever the issue is for it to correct itself? Thx for any info.

Doctor Answers 10

Mammaograms and implants

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Patients with breast implants have mammograms all the time and it is very safe. Of course everything is dependent upon the technician and your body.  If the procedure went differently for you this time, perhaps the technician was too physical.  If it is due to your anatomy in a sense that you had a capsular contracture that you were or were n ot aware of, perhaps it caused some pressure.  In general, it is a safe procedure, but if you are concerned you should check it out with your surgeon.  Good luck!

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Problems with implants following a mammogram

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Depending upon the degree of firmness of a breast implant there may be problems or discomfort when getting a mammogram.  It is unlikely that any permanent displacement of the implant could occur during the procedure but pain for a few days or even spasm of the muscle is possible.  If you continue to experience asymmetry and pain or a  change in your shape and size then it is best for you to contact your plastic surgeon for an evaluation.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Concerns about Breast Implants after Mammography?

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It is possible that the sensation/discomfort that you are experiencing will resolve after the “trauma” associated with mammography. However, if you continue to experience the symptoms you describe, you may benefit from in person evaluation by a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area to rule out breast implant displacement and/or other complications.

 Best wishes.

Effect of mammogram on implant placement

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My concern at 7 years postop would not be dislodging the implant but, rather, whether you could be suffering from a slow leak. See your plastic surgeon for an exam. Mammography is uncomfortable for many women and the sequelae of the procedure can persist for weeks.

Implants After Mammograms

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Implants are usually pretty resilient to trauma, but I have seen ruptured (silicone gel) and deflated(saline) implants after mammos.  Pocket streching is unlikely after 7 years.  If the symptoms don't improve, a breast MRI will give you peace of mind,as it will rule out rupture.  Hope this helps.

Peter J. Simon, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

See your surgeon

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You should make an appointment with your plastic surgeon for an in person examination as the symptoms you are describing could indicate a number of things. More pictures would be helpful, but having your doctor examine you and prescribe further treatment is probably necessary.

Good luck!

Mammogram following breast implants

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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.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Capsule or Pocket Disruption after Mammogram

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    The capsule or pocket is unlikely to have been disrupted during a mammogram, especially in implants that were placed years ago, but only a physical exam could rule this out.

Rupture of breast implant pocket with mammogram

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It is possible that the mammogram, or any manipulation of your breast, may have disrupted the normal or abnormal tissue capsule. Have a plastic surgeon who is an expert in capsular contracture examine your breasts. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews


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the implants are moved and compressed during the mammography. they are ven sometimes ruptures becaise of the pressure

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

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.