Mammograms are an important diagnostic tool for women to screen themselves for breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, women in their 40s and older should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years. The purpose of routine screening is to find developing cancer of the breast as early as possible. Early detection usually means more effective treatment, which can save lives. It can also contribute to a better quality of life by reducing the need for radical treatments.
The risk of breast cancer does not differ in women with breast implants compared to other women.
Breast implants also do not prevent women from being screened for breast cancer. Women who are in an age group where routine mammograms are recommended, should have them done regardless of whether or not they have implants. Women considering breast implants should be aware of potential issues with mammography in order to make an informed decision. Breast implants may require special views for the detection of cancer and breast compression (hard pressure) during screening is associated with a very small risk of implant rupture/deflation.
In summary: Breast Implants do not prevent breast cancer detection.
Women with augmented or reconstructed breasts should inform their Radiologist of their implants. Whilst special care can be taken by the Radiologist to reduce the risk of breast implant rupture during compression, other techniques are used to maximize what is seen of the breast tissue during screening. Alternative implant displacement views (or Eklundviews) must be imaged, in addition to those views imaged during routine mammograms, in order to isolate the breast tissue. Since it will take more time to screen more views of the breast, women with breast implants should also notify the receptionist upon making their appointment that they have implants.
The displacement procedure involves pushing the implant back and pulling the breast tissue into view. There are several factors that may affect the success of this special technique in imaging the breast tissue. These include the location of the implant, the hardness of the breast capsule (the scar tissue around an implant), and the amount of the breast tissue compared to the implant size. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish the difference between scar tissue and a tumor, and a biopsy may have to be done to ensure that a detected mass is not cancerous. This can usually be done without removing the implant.
Some women who have undergone Breast Reconstruction will have some breast tissue remaining, whilst others will have had all of their breast tissue removed. It is important that a woman with remaining breast tissue continue to have mammograms of the reconstructed breast, as well as of the other breast, to detect breast cancer. Those who have had breast cancer surgery on both breasts (a double mastectomy) should ask their doctors whether mammograms are still necessary. In all cases, this will depend on the extent of breast tissue that was removed.
Dr. Jugenburg is a highly experienced plastic surgeon who always takes the time to get to know his patients and their needs before committing to any kind of surgery. At your consultation, you will have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Jugenburg, and let him know about the look you want to achieve. The doctor will guide you through the whole breast augmentation process: from the preparations you will need to make, through to the surgical procedure and aftercare. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions and raise any concerns you might have with Dr. Jugenburg and his team of highly qualified and friendly healthcare professionals.
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