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Can I Get a Mammogram with Breast Implants?

Helen Akers
Helen Akers

Getting a mammogram with breast implants is possible; however, there are several considerations and risks associated with the procedure. Women who have breast implants are more likely to experience a break or leak as a result of a mammogram. Breast implants also make it more difficult for a mammogram to pick up all instances of abnormal or cancerous tissue.

There are certain physicians who specialize in administering mammograms to women who have breast implants. Certain techniques, such as displacement views, might be used by the physician to help reduce the chance of missing possible cancer growths. It is important for women having a mammogram to let doctors and specialists know if they have breast implants. Radiation and compression levels typically need to be adjusted accordingly.

Mammograms can cause leaks for women with breast implants.
Mammograms can cause leaks for women with breast implants.

One of the greatest risks of getting a mammogram with breast implants is the risk of implant breakage. Most women do not start having regular mammograms until the age of 40. The risk of breast implant breakage increases with the age of the implant. Since the majority of women undergo breast augmentation surgery in their 20s and 30s, the implants are already in a high risk stage by the time regular mammograms ensue.

Implants might break or leak as a result of the mammogram's compression. Silicone gel implants have been shown to be more vulnerable to breakage from a mammogram. Leakage and breakage of breast implants is considered to be quite dangerous and usually results in their surgical removal. Some experts state that a mammogram with breast implants is not as safe as it is for women who do not have implants.

According to some experts, women would be advised to remove their breast implants prior to having a mammogram. Not only can the compression activity cause breakage, but conducting a mammogram with breast implants is more difficult. Patients usually have to undergo increased exposure to radiation and compression since the procedure takes longer. The main reason why a mammogram with breast implants takes longer is that the x-rays aren't always able to capture all of the breast tissue.

An implant can often obstruct the x-ray's view of the breast tissue. This makes it more likely that potential cancer growths and changing tissues will go undiscovered. There is an almost 22 percent increase in undetected breast cancer in women who have implants versus those who do not. Special techniques alone do not guarantee that the x-rays will be able to view all of the breast tissue that might be hidden behind an implant.

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    • Mammograms can cause leaks for women with breast implants.
      By: Monkey Business
      Mammograms can cause leaks for women with breast implants.