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Do Breast Implants Affect Mammograms?


Here’s a question we get from time to time from our breast augmentation patients from Syracuse and other areas: If a woman has breast implants, can a mammogram still detect signs of cancer? The answer is YES. Although implants can slightly distort the view of a mammogram, the test is still crucial for all women, even those with implants.

There are several things that can make a difference in the effective screening for breast cancer. The first is in the placement of the implants. A skilled and experienced surgeon places the implant under the chest muscle, where the implants should not cover or hide a large area of breast tissue. This placement allows for greater visibility during a mammogram.

As surgeons have become more skilled, so have mammographers who with experience, have learned to better manipulate the breast for clearer images. Instead of the two standard views, women with implants should have images of four views taken during a screening. A woman with breast implants who also has a strong genetic risk for breast cancer may also want to have an MRI.

The best way to prevent breast cancer is to have regular mammograms. Let your mammographer know you have breast implants so that you can get the most accurate screening.

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