Mammograms are essential in diagnosing early signs of breast cancer. During a mammogram, your breasts are flattened and compressed so a picture can be taken to be evaluated. If undergoing a breast augmentation, it’s important to continue getting regular screening mammograms as your risk for breast cancer doesn’t change with implants.
When going to get your mammogram post-breast augmentation, it’s essential to let your doctor know before your appointment that you have breast implants. It’s also a good idea to seek a facility with your experience with performing mammograms on patients with implants. The reason being is that women with breast implants require additional images as most regular x-rays do not go through saline or silicone implants to show the underlying breast tissue.
The implants’ placement also affects the mammogram’s visibility, which is why letting your doctor know that you have breast implants so crucial. Breast implants placed above the muscle have a higher chance of reducing the radiologist’s ability to interpret the mammogram. Whereas implants placed beneath the muscle are less likely to interfere with the visibility of the mammogram.
For women with breast implants getting a mammogram, eight x-ray pictures will be taken instead of the standard four, allowing doctors to see as much breast tissue as possible. These four extra pictures are called implant displacement views, where the implant is pushed back against the chest wall, and the breast tissue is brought forward. While this may feel uncomfortable, it’s vital to get the most precise image of the breast.
A common concern for women with breast implants getting a mammogram is if the mammogram exam will damage or rupture their implants. But breast implants have become so common, doctors performing mammograms have techniques to safely perform the exam on women with breast implants. Another option for situations where the implant cannot be moved enough to x-ray the breast tissue is an ultrasound or MRI.