What is the role of screening mammography in women with breast implants?

Updated: Jan 31, 2017
  • Author: Muhammad Neaman Siddique, MBBS; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Breast implants were approved by US Food and Drug Administration in 1962. Over two million breast implants are estimated to be in US women for the purposes of either cosmetic augmentation or reconstruction.

Women with breast reconstructions with no underlying breast tissue do not require mammographic screening, whereas women with breast augmentations performed with implants do require routine screening to evaluate the native breast tissue. As implant contents are radio-opaque, small lesions may be obscured. Moreover, in patients with breast implants, evaluating all parts of the breast becomes harder because breast compression becomes difficult with implants, particularly in prepectoral or retroglandular implants. Therefore, after obtaining the standard craniocaudal (CC) and mediolateral oblique (MLO) views in women with breast implants, both views are repeated with the implant displaced back against the chest wall and breast tissue pulled forward. Prepectoral or retroglandular implants are sometimes difficult to displace. Tangential views are obtained in such cases, to attempt to adequately image the whole breast tissue.

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