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Should women with breast implants still have a mammogram?

As a breast imaging specialist, I’m often asked if a women who has breast implants should still have an annual mammogram. I always answer: absolutely.

Some women who have breast implants are reluctant to get an annual mammogram because they’re fearful that the implant will rupture. The risk of breast cancer, the success of the earliest possible detection and the fact that rupture rates are extremely low should help remove this fear.

Of note, the US Food and Drug Association reported only 41 cases of implant rupture with mammography between 1992 and 2002. In my own experience with more than 20 years of reading tens of thousands of mammograms, I have never seen a case of implant rupture as a result of mammography.

It is important, however, to make sure that we know you have implants when you have your mammogram. Mammography technologists are trained to perform additional images called Eklund views during a mammogram. These views are named for the radiologist who devised them and include four views of the breast with the implant pushed out of the mammogram view and the breast tissue itself pulled forward. These views help image the maximum amount of breast tissue around the implant without compressing the implant itself.

It’s important for all women, even those with breast implants to remember:

  • Breast cancer is common.
  • Each of us, even without any extraordinary risk factors, has a one in eight chance of having breast cancer sometime in our life.
  • Mammography is an imaging procedure proven to decrease the mortality from breast cancer by 33% or more.

All women – including those with breast implants – should have routine mammograms. In fact, we can see you today. Simply call us at 919-232-4700 or click here to schedule your mammogram appointment at one of our 11 convenient breast imaging offices throughout the greater Triangle area.

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