Does Breast Augmentation Affect Mammograms?
The short answer is yes … and no. Any time you modify any part of your body, you will have to make adjustments to accommodate those changes. After you have breast augmentation, you'll need to buy larger bras, possibly even larger blouses. You may need to do exercises to strengthen your back so the added weight of your breast implants (depending on the size you chose) doesn't negatively affect your posture. And yes, the way your mammograms are performed will need to be adjusted to accommodate your changed body.
The good news is, those adjustments and accommodations will not have a negative effect on your health. In fact, informing and working with the technician performing your mammogram will ensure your test results are as accurate as possible.
Mammogram Procedures after Breast Augmentation
Before you have a mammogram done, it's imperative that you inform your doctor, the mammography technician, and any other medical personnel along the way that you've had breast augmentation. This will allow them to make certain adjustments to ensure an accurate and thorough examination.
Your technician will use a technique called “implantation displacement view” to reposition your breast tissue, and facilitate a full scan. Your breast implants may be squeezed, but not to the point of serious discomfort. Also be aware that the presence of breast implants may mean more scans from more angles are required, as well as a longer scan time. It may also take a bit more time to accurately read your results, so be patient.
You should also know that there is a risk that your breast implant may rupture, or become displaced or deformed as a result of being squeezed during a mammogram, but this risk is minimal, and is further reduced when the mammogram is done correctly to accommodate the implants. This is another reason it's so important to notify your medical team of your breast augmentation.
Self-Examination after Breast Augmentation
We highly recommend you perform monthly breast self-examinations, even after you have breast augmentation. You may be pleased to learn that because the pressure of the implant creates a smooth surface on the breast, women with breast implants may find irregularities more easily than women without.
Do Breast Implants Cause Cancer?
There does not appear to be a relationship between breast implants and the occurrence of breast cancer.
As women age, the risk of developing breast cancer increases, whether a woman had breast augmentation or not. For this reason, all women aged 40 years and older should talk to their doctor about scheduling regular mammograms to increase the probability of early detection. This is especially important for women who have a history of breast cancer in their family.