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Do Breast Implants Interfere with Mammograms?

How breast implants impact mammogram screenings is a common question/concern expressed by women who are interested in breast augmentation. While it is true that breast implants can make it difficult to view the breast tissue in a traditional mammogram, an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Steven Holzman can discuss various strategies for ensuring that you can achieve your desired aesthetic without compromising effective breast cancer screening. In most cases where a patient has a higher risk for breast cancer, submuscular (below the pectoral muscle) implant placement is recommended, as it can make mammogram imaging easier. 

If you have breast implants, prior to scheduling your regular mammogram, it is important to conduct thorough research. Look at a variety of imaging centers at hospitals and clinics in your area, and find out if they have experience with performing and reading mammograms for patients with breast implants. To ensure accurate mammogram results (and protect the integrity of your implants), informing the clinic or hospital of your breast implants is crucial — be sure to mention them when scheduling your appointment, as well as when you check in. Your provider may also want to know more about the type of implant and placement location so they can ensure they use the most effective approach.

Depending on your breast implant placement, the radiologist will select an appropriate technique. Breast implants located below the chest muscle typically allow for the mammogram to be performed using “implant displacement” views. Implant displacement views are achieved by pushing the implant back along the patient’s chest wall and pulling the breast tissue forward for four x-ray views (in addition to the standard four images). In some cases, if the implant is causing too much of a disruption in the mammogram image results, an MRI may be requested instead. An MRI will allow the radiologist to get a better view of the breast tissue surrounding the implant. 

If you have additional questions or concerns about breast augmentation or are interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. Steven Holzman, please contact our office today.