If you ask, “do implants affect mammograms?” then the answer to that is simple: yes, breast implants do affect mammograms. The breast implant, be it silicone or saline, is likely to cause obstruction in the image formation of mammograms when revealing breast cancer.
But why does it affect you? There is a very simple reason behind it. Breast implants are placed above the muscles, and thus it reduces the ability of the radiologist to interpret the mammogram. In simple terms, it happens due to the specific location of the implants.
Every tissue of the breast is not visible. But if the implants are placed beneath the muscle, then there are low chances of the tissues interfering with the ability of the radiologist. Studies have proved that mammograms are an early warning sign for women prone to breast cancer.
But since, since chances are there that mammograms may not be accurate to their ability, then specific steps can be taken to make them more successful:
1. Do a proper research
If you have implants and know that mammograms won’t be effective, apply your research skills and find facilities that will look after many women with breast implants. You can even seek help from a clinic with experienced radiologists with breast implants.
2. Don’t hide your breast implants.
While you will have an appointment, do not hide your breast implant. Instead, talk freely about it; it will help the examiner to be more careful while imaging you for mammograms.
3. Don’t overthink; rush to your doctor!
If you are overthinking too much or facing difficulties, don’t wait anymore. Rush to the doctor. Your doctor can decide upon the radiologist, and it is up to him whether or not you should have mammograms.
Now, let us answer specific questions that can tell us if breast implants will affect mammograms or not:
1. Will the location of the implants affect mammograms?
If the implant of the breast is under the muscle, then the hard tissue of the breast might be visible to the radiologist while taking your readings of mammograms. Although it is a chance procedure, it might not always be visible.
On the other hand, if the breast implants are done above the muscle, then it won’t be possible for the radiologist to view or take the readings. The bottom line is that the volume of your breast tissue forms a significant factor while imaging mammograms.
2. Will the type of breast implant matter when taking images for mammograms?
The simple answer is no. The type of breast implant won’t matter. This is because, be it silicone or saline, both types of implants are clearly visible on the screen as both are similar. The only thing that matters is their location and not the type.
3. Is there any risk for a woman with breast implants getting mammograms?
For a woman with breast implants, mammograms pose negligible to almost no threat. The utmost that can happen is a rupture may take place while getting the images for mammograms.
4. How do breast implants impact a screening mammogram?
Imaging can take more time than expected as silicone or saline breast implants are not see-through. Thus, it takes more time for the radiation to penetrate the silicone and saline. Your radiologist can take more pictures than expected in case there are obstructed views.
Studies have shown that women should start getting mammograms done at the age of forty. If you would like to go for mammograms, go to the Women Imaging Centre, as it has been heard that they are the best.