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Can Breast Implants Interfere with Mammograms?

Posted on July 25, 2014 by - Breast Enlargement, Breast Implants, Breast Procedures

One of the most common concerns of women who want breast implants to improve the size and shape of their breasts is whether or not the implants will interfere with future breast cancer screenings. We would like to discuss this concern in this post.

Breast Implants and Standard Cancer Detection

For women who are above 40 years old and those who are at risk (below 40 years old but has a strong family history of breast cancer), annual mammograms are usually recommended. When it comes to having saline or silicone implants, there is the possibility that they can potentially obscure the view of breast tissues in standard mammography. Both saline and silicone implants are not see-through during imaging using radiation and will appear as white splotches in the resulting images.

However, a study has proven that although there is the potential of implants obscuring breast tissue image during mammography, cancer detection is not directly affected with the presence of either saline or silicone implants. Here’s the conclusion of the aforementioned study:

“Breast augmentation decreases the sensitivity of screening mammography among asymptomatic women but does not increase the false-positive rate. Despite the lower accuracy of mammography in women with augmentation, the prognostic characteristics of tumors are not influenced by augmentation.”

What to Consider When Having a Mammogram and You Have Breast Implants

First, implant positioning plays a huge role in future breast cancer screenings. The submuscular placement (implants are placed underneath the pectoralis major muscle) offers better imaging than implants placed above the muscle and under the breast gland (also known as subglandular placement).

Second, it pays to find a radiologist who has solid experience in screening women with implants. These radiologists will often obtain additional views or images such as the implant displacement view imaging technique wherein the implant is pushed back against the chest wall which in turn puts the natural breast tissue forward for better imaging.

As to whether or not implant rupture will result from mammography, this should not be a source of concern at all as implant manufacturers are now very keen in coming up with implants that can withstand extensive amounts of force and pressure.

If you’d like to learn more about how breast implants and its effect on mammograms, get in touch with us by calling 858-633-7546 or fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation. We look forward to your visit!