Do Mammograms Hurt With Breast Implants?

woman with breast implantsIf you have breast implants, you may have a lot of questions about whether or not you should get a mammogram.

Should I Get a Mammogram If I Have Breast Implants?

Mammograms are the best screening tool available to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. If you have breast implants, you should follow your doctor’s suggestion for what age to begin yearly screenings. Taking into account your family history and your own personal risk factors, your doctor will probably suggest beginning mammograms around age 40 or 45.

What Should I Do Before My Mammogram?

It's important to let your mammography center know that you have breast implants when making your appointment. Mammograms for those with implants take a little longer than usual, so giving them this information will let them schedule enough time for your appointment.

How Do Mammograms for Breast Implants Differ from Regular Screenings?

During a regular mammogram screening, the technician places one breast on a plate and compresses it with a plastic paddle to make it as flat and uniform as possible. While the breast is flattened, an x-ray captures two images from different angles. The process is repeated on the second breast.

If you have implants, it’s not possible to solely use this method since the silicone or saline in breast implants effectively hide breast tissue from the x-ray machine. Because of this, your technicians will take several implant displacement views (ID) to get a full picture of the breast tissue. During your mammogram, your technician will:

  • Take four standard x-rays
  • Take four additional ID views

To obtain the ID views, your technician will push your implants against the chest wall while pulling the breast tissue forward for imaging. ID imaging is easier if your implants are placed behind the pectoral muscles rather than in front.

Will My Mammogram Hurt?

Your technician will try to help alleviate any discomfort you might feel during your mammogram. Let your technician know if you’re in pain so that she can stop compression and reposition your breasts to reduce pain. If you have a lot of scarring from your implants, you’re more likely to feel discomfort during your exam. Try the following tips to lessen your chance of experiencing pain during your mammogram:

  • Schedule your exam at least a week after the end of your period when your breasts are less tender
  • Don’t wear deodorant, powder, or perfumes to your exam because they interfere with the mammogram and cause you to have to be re-screened

Where Can I Get a Mammogram on Long Island?

PURE Mammography is the premier mammography center serving the women of Lake Grove and the surrounding communities. We offer 3D mammograms in a spa-like atmosphere staffed by a caring, compassionate team of technicians and radiologists. Contact us today for more information.

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