This is an excellent question that I often hear from women considering breast augmentation in Roanoke. The short answer is that breast implants can potentially make viewing breast tissues and identifying any irregularities a bit more difficult during traditional mammograms.
However, there are special methods that can be employed to improve the accuracy of mammography results for women who have implants. You can learn more about implant placement in this related blog post.
Implant Displacement Mammogram
For individuals whose implants are positioned below the pectoral muscle, one technique a mammogram technologist can use is known as “implant displacement.” With this approach, breast tissue is pulled one way while the implant is pushed in another direction as the mammogram is performed. In addition to the four traditional mammography photos, a number of specialized images can also be captured, enabling a more comprehensive view of each breast to be obtained and reviewed.
When breast implants are located on top of the muscle—or when the implant displacement technique doesn’t produce acceptable results—magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can often be an effective alternative. With an MRI, a radiology technician can usually photograph an enhanced view of breast tissues, regardless of any obstruction the implants may be causing.
Ultimately, for any woman with breast implants, my advice is to share this information upfront when booking a mammogram screening. Doing so will allow the team responsible for performing and examining the results of your mammogram to be better prepared to utilize alternative mammography techniques in the event they are necessary.
Of course, many women find that the benefits of breast augmentation are worth the extra steps involved in getting a mammogram. If you would like to see my patients’ breast augmentation results, take a look at their before-and-after photos.
And if you’re concerned about how a breast augmentation affects mammograms and other preventive health exams, I’m happy to discuss these issues with you during your breast augmentation consultation. Women from Blacksburg to Lynchburg, VA, and as far as Charlottesville, VA, find the answers they need during our one-on-one consultations. You can contact my office online to request a consultation or call us at (540) 776-1600.
– Enrique Silberblatt, MD, FACS