Getting a mammogram is a regular event for women between the ages of 40-55, and older. If you’re a woman nearing this cusp of life, you may have some questions concerning the exam. Whether you’re someone who’s had breast implants for years or someone who is considering the procedure and wants to know how it may affect them down the line, one question we get asked frequently by women of all ages is how a mammogram with breast implants is conducted and whether having breast implants will affect the outcome of the exam.
The great news is that having breast implants doesn’t keep you from being able to get your annual mammogram. That being said, if you’re a woman with breast implants there are some things you’ll want to be aware of (and make your doctor aware of) before undergoing a mammogram with implants.
If you have breast implants, be sure to tell your technologist before the time of your appointment, or as you’re setting the appointment.
It’s a good idea to inquire about whether the facility you are choosing for your breast cancer screening has experience conducting mammograms on women with breast implants.
Breast implants may make it more difficult to see certain parts of your breast, so you’ll want to make sure your technologist and radiologist are experienced in reading mammograms of women with breast implants.
Mammograms conducted on women with breast implants require extra imaging as regular X-rays used in mammograms do not go through saline or silicone implants to show the tissue behind or under them.
Before undergoing a mammogram, women with silicone implants should be sure their implants are not ruptured. To check for ruptures, an MRI is recommended 3 years after the initial procedure, then every 2 years following.
Having breast implants does not reduce your need to get annual or biennial breast cancer screening exams, nor does it reduce your chances of getting breast cancer.
How Does Getting A Mammogram With Breast Implants Work?
Getting a mammogram with breast implants is a bit different from the regular mammogram screening. Since the X-rays used in mammograms are not able to capture images through the implants, technologists rely on implant displacement views to see the tissue behind and around it.
Implant displacement views consist of 8 breast pictures, instead of the usual 4. These pictures are taken while the implant is pushed back against the chest wall and the breast tissue brought forward. This may feel very uncomfortable for women with breast implants, particularly if they have a lot of scar tissue, but it is the best way for capturing clear images of the breast.
Want to learn more about how getting a mammogram with breast implants work? Feel free to reach out to any one of our women’s imaging clinics today. If you’re a woman with breast implants and you’d like to schedule a mammography at a women’s imaging clinic that’s experienced in imaging breasts with implants, contact us or book an appointment today!