Many of my patients inquire about getting a mammogram after breast augmentation, but these exams are a necessity in the early detection of breast cancer. Some women are worried about pain or complications that may come from the exam, while others are concerned about the effectiveness of a mammogram after breast implants. The goal is to help you understand the importance of mammograms after breast augmentation in Michigan.
What Is A Mammogram?
A mammogram is a special X-ray picture used to detect changes in a woman’s breasts. Modern-day breast imaging was first developed in the 1960’s, but it has come a long way over the last 50 years. Advancements in technology have allowed for safer, more comprehensive X-rays, using less radiation and exposing more key-components of the breasts in each image.
Fast Facts About Mammograms And Breast Cancer
- The most common risk factors for breast cancer are being female and aging.
- A mammogram is the best screening tool for early detection of breast cancer.
- Women over the age of 40 should have a mammogram and once a year.
- Women 20-39 years old should have a clinical breast exam every 3 years.
- The best treatment against breast cancer is early detection. At Stage I, breast cancer patients have a 100% 5-year survival rate, compared to 22% at Stage IV.
- Many cancers occur on the outer upper quarter of the breast, so it is important to check the armpit and the topmost breast border during self breast exams.
- Never hesitate to ask your doctor to evaluate your breasts if you have health concerns.
- Know your body and perform your monthly self breast exams.
Getting A Mammogram After Breast Implants
You should always get your routine mammogram as recommended by your doctor — even after your breast augmentation. When you call to schedule your appointment, be sure to tell them that you have breast implants. Your imaging center may take different views during your mammogram after implants, or they may use a specialized technician and technique to complete the exam. Try to go to the same breast imaging center as your previous mammogram so the radiologist has your old records to compare. Most women will experience a slight discomfort during a mammogram, regardless of having implants. Tell your doctor or technician if you are experiencing too much discomfort during the exam. You should be able to make it through the entire mammogram without difficulty. Continue to get your mammograms every 1-3 years, depending on your age and overall risk for breast cancer. Complete monthly self breast exams on your own to detect irregularities in your breasts in between mammograms. Remain diligent about your breast health, and you will be able to enjoy a better quality of life.