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Breast implants warrant additional studies

Some patients may require MRIs, ultrasounds between other studies

Patients who undergo cosmetic surgery to achieve breast augmentation through breast implants must bear in mind that when undergoing a mammogram, the situation will be more extensive and cumbersome.

Experts from the Cancer Prevention Clinic (CPC) of the Anticancer Society of Venezuela (SAV), specify in their information that having silicones implies that the radiologist must go deeper to rule out anomalies or tumors around the breast tissue, within which the milk ducts are located and in the glands.

Implications

The main difference lies in the number of projections needed. According to Dr. Isabel Muñoz, CPC radiologist. 

In this way, patients without a prosthesis are subjected to 4 basic projections: (2 shots of each breast), called craniocaudal and mediolateral oblique.

Meanwhile, those who do have 6 shots are performed (3 in each breast), and also an additional one using the Eklund (or pinch) technique, which consists of moving the prosthesis away to “more clearly specify the findings in the breast parenchyma.

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Likewise, Muñoz expressed that, although more projections are performed in patients with breast implants, “mammography does not entail a greater increase in exposure to X-rays, since it is a low-radiation study.”

For women with large breast implants, with which patients generally have little tissue, the mammogram images are likely to overlap, making it difficult to see small lesions. Therefore, in these situations it is suggested to complement the study with a breast ultrasound (an ultrasound), since it allows the shape and content of the prosthesis to be evaluated.

On the other hand, the radiologist said that "there are cases in which a rupture of the breast implant occurs, therefore, in these situations, an MRI without contrast with special sequences is also suggested, to evaluate if there is silicone migration."

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