You may have heard that mammograms can damage or even rupture your breast implants. Rumours have led to people proposing or cancelling mammogram scans, but should you be worries?
We urge everyone to get their breast implants screened periodically. The main reason is that implants can rupture without any symptoms in what is known as a ‘silent rupture’, but the list of benefits you stand to get from getting scanned are endless. However, it is not uncommon to have questions about how your breast implants can interfere with mammograms.
Saline and Silicone, the two most common types of breast implants, are not associated with increasing your risk of developing breast cancer. The main risk factors include increased age, mutations of certain genes, and family history of breast cancer.
Do breast implants affect mammograms?
The short answer is, yes. Breast implants obscure potential findings as it is harder to see the entirety of your breast tissue. In a normal mammogram without the patient having breast implants, the tissue is evaluated all the way from the nipple to the pectoral muscles and chest wall. Obstruction is caused by both saline and silicone implants, but our technologists have a way around this.
How do you see past my breast implants?
Instead of using the standard image to photography your breast, we use several images of each to produce what is called implant-displaced views that help our radiologist evaluate tissue that is otherwise blocked by them. We lightly reposition the implant back whilst moving the breast tissue forward in front of the implant, and softly compressing it. Using this method, we can capture the whole breast and give a clear view.
Could my breast implant rupture during a mammogram?
Because of the compression step of this type of scan, you may be worried about the possibility of your breast implant rupturing during the procedure. The truth is that the risk of a rupture during your mammogram is extremely rare. The implant itself is not compressed, merely the breast tissue itself. In short, you have nothing to worry about if you have breast implants and are looking to get a scan.
Worried about your breast implants?
If you’re worried about your implants, we can help.
The benefits of breast implant checks include the early detection of implant-related problems and the ability to monitor how your breast and implant change over time.