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Can Breast Implants Interfere with a Mammogram?

Many Phoenix women who are getting breast implants are in their 20s or 30s, well before they need to worry about regular breast cancer screenings through mammograms. You may be years or even decades away from getting your first mammogram. But, if you’re a Phoenix woman considering getting breast implants, it’s important that you are informed about how breast implants might interfere with future mammograms.

Breast Implants May Make It Harder to Find Breast Cancer Tumors

Unfortunately, according to a Canadian study, it may be harder for mammograms to detect cancerous breast tumors in Phoenix women with breast implants than those without breast implants. The study reported that mammograms missed 55% of tumors in women with breast implants, compared to 33% of tumors in women without breast implants. Additionally, the study showed that of the tumors that were detected, women with breast implants had larger breast tumors than women without breast implants. Additionally, a Canadian review of 12 different studies found that of women with breast implants that had cancerous breast tumors detected had later stages of cancer than women without breast implants.

So, what does this data mean for Phoenix women? Should they avoid getting breast implants altogether? An important thing to remember is that many women have their breast implants removed or replaced over time. If you are young, with no history of breast cancer in your family, it is unlikely that you will need a mammogram until the recommended age of 40. It is entirely possible for Phoenix women to have breast implants in their younger years, then have them removed in their later years when mammograms become necessary.

Breast Implants May Make Mammograms Longer and More Complicated

If you’re a Phoenix woman who decided to keep her breast implants even through the age where mammograms are necessary, it’s important to know that breast implants can make the mammogram take longer and be more complicated. When you have breast implants, you must let your mammogram technician know, so that he or she can perform specialized techniques to get proper images of your breasts. This typically involves adjusting the machinery so that it moves your implants, and taking more images of your breasts. This may make a mammogram longer, more painful, cost more and expose you to more radiation.

Mammograms May Make Breast Implants Rupture

Most Phoenix women know – and dread – that mammograms flatten your breasts to a painful degree. But when you have breast implants, you have the added risk of breast implant rupture during a mammogram. A study by the FDA of 66 adverse events after mammograms found that 41 of those events were suspected to be the rupture of breast implants caused by mammograms. Granted, when you factor in the thousands of Phoenix and American women who have breast implants, only 41 suspected breast implant ruptures is a relatively small number. But it is a risk that Phoenix women should be aware of.

Should I Still Get Breast Implants?

The decision to get breast implants is a very personal one, and it isn’t a decision that should be made lightly. If you are concerned about how future mammograms might be affected by your breast implants, talk to Dr. Meger about your concerns so that he can provide you with complete medical information. You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Meger today by calling (602) 957-6000.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.