Breast screening mammograms (or breast x-rays) are incredibly important. Women with breast implants following breast augmentatio may be concerned about whether or not their implants will interfere with this process, but, despite a few changes to how the mammogram is conducted, the procedure is still safe and recommended.
The most common risks involve the implant lowering the effectiveness of mammograms in detecting breast cancers. Because the implant takes up space in the breast, less tissue can be seen during the screening, making it more difficult to monitor for unusual growths. Be sure to inform the radiographer and mammogram technician of your implants before the beginning of your screening to ensure the most efficacious mammogram results. They will modify their screening techniques.
Regular mammograms are the best method for detecting breast cancer in its earlier stages, even if you have breast implants.
Women with implants will benefit from discussing how their implants may affect future mammograms with their surgeon and family physician. General screening techniques are not the most effective for women who have received implants for either cosmetic or reconstructive benefits. The presence, type and position of the implant affects how the screening should be conducted and needs to be assessed with a doctor on an individual basis.
DIFFERENT MAMMOGRAM TECHNIQUES FOR BREAST AUGMENTATION PATIENTS
Your radiographer and mammogram technician may choose to use special techniques in order to get the clearest image of your breast tissue. These techniques will help to improve mammogram results.
Women who are concerned about the radiation involved with undergoing breast screening should remember that mammograms use a very low dose of radiation. The benefits of regular screenings far outweigh radiation exposure as well. Women with implants may have to undergo more exposure to radiation as part of their screening, but not an amount high enough to provide any cause for concern.
Keep in mind there are other screening methods if necessary, such as ultrasound, or the gold-standard imaging technique for the breast, an MRI.
Some women may be concerned that they are at higher risk of breast cancer due to having implants, but there is no evidence to suggest that there is any connection between cancer and implants. This has been scientifically proven time and time again.
MINIMAL RISKS FOR MAMMOGRAM AND BREAST IMPLANTS
Radiographers are careful to minimize breast implant compression during screenings, but mammograms do carry a very slight risk of damaging a patient’s implant. Though it is very unlikely that a breast screening will weaken, alter or cause implant leakage, it is possible. Mammogram technicians are not trained to check for these types of problems, but will notify patients if they do find any. Any concerns about damage or changes to implants should be discussed with a doctor who is trained to better assess the situation.