Sacramento plastic surgeon Dr. Donald Hause of Sacramento Aesthetic Surgery understands that women seeking breast augmentation may have questions specifically related to how breast implants affect their health. One question that comes up a lot is whether breast implants interfere with mammograms.
Here, Dr. Hause shares what you need to know about breast implants and mammograms.
Regular Mammograms Are Important
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that screens for cancer. Regular mammograms are critical to detecting irregularities in the breast tissue, and to identifying breast cancer in its early stages. Early detection yields the best chances of effective treatment.
Expert opinions vary on when to start having mammograms and how often to repeat the test. The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force believes women should start having mammograms at age 50 and repeat the test every two years. The American Cancer Society, the Mayo Clinic and other organizations recommend women start having mammograms at age 40 and continue every year. (These guidelines apply to women with an average risk of developing breast cancer; women at an elevated risk should begin having mammograms at an earlier age).
It is up to you and your primary care physician to decide when and how often to schedule mammograms, based on your personal health history and your current health status.
Having a Mammogram with Breast Implants
Dr. Hause and other healthcare experts agree that mammograms are important for women with breast implants. The implants do create a few obstacles during screening, but this should not dissuade women with implants from having regular mammograms.
Women with breast implants will have several extra pictures taken of their breasts. Also, there may be a few minor modifications to enable the radiologist to see the front portion of the breast tissue.
If you have breast implants, it’s a good idea to alert the facility of this at the time you make your appointment. When you arrive for your appointment, remind the team that you have implants so they can make the necessary accommodations.
Certain mammogram facilities see a high volume of women with breast implants and are better equipped to work with this group. If you would like recommendations for a facility, or you have general questions about breast implants and breast health, please feel free to reach out to Dr. Hause. Contact our practice by calling (916) 646-6869 today.