Advertisement

If I have breast implants, what type of mammogram will I need?

If you have breast implants, your initial mammogram will be the classic images, where technicians use gentle pressure to compress the breast tissue between two surfaces and take a picture. Following those, the breast implant is manually held back against the chest wall while the breast tissue is slid forward. More pictures are taken of the breast tissue in this position. These extra views, called implant displacement views, are needed to try to see as much of the breast tissue as possible.

Taking mammograms in women with breast implants is very common. Most technicians have extensive experience and training in the techniques needed. Mammograms for women with implants may be uncomfortable if there is a lot of scar tissue present. It’s important to notify your mammography technician if you have breast implants.

The rate of implant rupture from a mammogram is very low. Women with breast implants should follow breast cancer screening guidelines and work with their primary providers to schedule regular mammograms.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Dr. Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgeon

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 with silicone gel implants should have an 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.

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.

Continue Learning about Women's Health

Viagra for Menstrual Cramps?
Viagra for Menstrual Cramps?
Between 2006 and 2010, erectile dysfunction medication manufacturers spent $1.1 BILLION dollars on TV ads (which kids viewed 102 billion times, but th...
Read More
How soon will I get the results of my mammogram?
SwedishSwedish
Your report will be in the mail within 7 to 10 days of your visit -- after your films have been revi...
More Answers
6 Surprising Facts About Your Breasts
6 Surprising Facts About Your Breasts6 Surprising Facts About Your Breasts6 Surprising Facts About Your Breasts6 Surprising Facts About Your Breasts
Your breasts are pretty remarkable—you may not know everything they can do.
Start Slideshow
What Is the Treatment for a Relaxed Vagina?
What Is the Treatment for a Relaxed Vagina?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.