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Breast implants require a special type of mammogram (an x-ray of the inside of the breast, which can be done either as a routine screening test or to pinpoint the cause of breast cancer symptoms). You will need more images than a regular mammogram. This is because the implant covers some of the breast tissue. The implant may be gently moved back and out of the way of the tissue for some of the images. Other images will include the implant.
As with all mammograms, some compression is applied. For images with the implants, the amount of compression is adjusted so that it only prevents motion that could blur the images. For the images intended to show the tissue in front of the implant, the normal amount of compression is applied. This may cause slight discomfort for a few seconds, which is usual for any type of mammogram.
You should request the Eklund technique mammogram if you have implants. This technique uses a cone compression device that will displace the prosthetic device while taking several views of the breast. The technician must be made aware that you have either silicone or saline implants. The special hand piece will then be used to prevent inadvertent rupture of your breast implant. Patients will silicone gel implants should have a MRI performed at least every three years to determine the integrity of the silicone shell. Mammograms are NOT sensitive to silicone rupture and yield false negative results.
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