Rumors have recently been swirling regarding mammogram complications and delayed breast cancer screenings for women who have had breast augmentation surgery. It is important to note that mammograms can be properly performed on women with breast implants.
However, you must inform the mammography technologist about your implants beforehand, so that he or she conducts additional and variously angled images in order to obtain an accurate result.
Dr. Otto Joseph Placik Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon in Chicago and an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University where he also completed residencies in general and plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Regardless of your plastic surgeon’s technical skills, breast implants will eventually rupture. The average lifespan of a breast implant is 14.5 years; however, a recent FDA study suggests that mammography can shorten the longevity of your implant.
The information remains convoluted though — the American Society of Plastic Surgery states that approximately half of the women who receive breast implants are in their 20’s or early 30’s. Since women are recommended to regularly receive mammograms from 40 years old and onward, the majority of women undergo mammograms once their implants are already vulnerable to rupture.
Delayed Breast Cancer Detection
Implants may potentially mask the image of a tumor during a routine mammogram. Due to this, women who have had breast augmentation surgery must inform the mammography technologist about their implants prior to the screening. The technologist will then perform additional and different views in an attempt to obtain an accurate screening.
Many women who have had breast augmentation surgery may be unaware of the necessity to inform a mammography technologist about their implants. Consequently, the mammography results may not be accurate.
While not an actual fault of the implants, this can lead to delayed breast cancer detection in women who have had breast augmentation surgery.
Additionally, breast implants placed above the pectoral muscles decrease mammogram accuracy. It is recommended that women who have undergone implants in this method consult with a plastic surgeon about implant adjustment.
Breast Augmentation & Mammograms
Actual Patient Not a Model
Since a mammogram involves pressure to the breast and traumatic forces can cause a vulnerable implant to rupture, many women who have had breast augmentation surgery avoid mammograms.
Avoidance of mammography can result in the delaying of breast cancer detection. Prior to receiving breast implants, women must be informed about the lifespan of their implants and be prepared to replace them in the event of rupture or as they near the conclusion of their lifespan.
To meet with Dr. Placik, you can request a consultation online or call our Arlington Heights office at 847-398-1660 or our Chicago office at 312-787-5313 to schedule your appointment. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you look your very best.
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