Do Breast Implants Obstruct Mammogram Results?

This is a rather common concern expressed by women seeking to enhance the appearance of their breasts with implants. Truth be told, the presence of implants can make viewing breast tissues a bit more challenging during a traditional mammogram screening. That said, there are special techniques the radiologist can use to help generate more accurate and definitive mammography results for individuals who have breast implants.

When implants are situated below the pectoral muscle, one method that can be particularly beneficial is called “implant displacement.” Using this approach, the radiologist will push the implant in one direction while pulling the breast tissue in another as the mammogram screening is conducted. By doing this, a total of eight images (four specialized photos and four traditional x-rays) can be taken, allowing a more complete view of the breasts to be captured and examined.

In the event mammography screenings with the implant displacement method produce inadequate results, an MRI can often be performed as an alternative. An MRI enables the radiologist to generate a better view of breast tissues when implants are causing a considerable obstruction.

For women who have received a breast augmentation with implants, it’s always a good idea to make this information known when scheduling a mammogram. By doing so, the radiologist and his or her team can be better prepared to employ alternative techniques (if necessary), ultimately increasing the likelihood of a precise and conclusive reading.

– Dr. Daniel Y. Maman, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

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