The purpose of a preoperative mammogram or ultrasound (for younger patients) is to detect any significant disorder of the breast(s) prior to cosmetic surgery so that the problem can be resolved before surgery. It is important to determine and document that the breast is free of any disease. Also, the mammogram is a baseline for detecting abnormalities after the cosmetic surgery. Having this diagnostic test prior to breast augmentation will allow you to have a baseline mammogram on file, which is helpful when you have future mammograms. The pre-surgery mammogram can be compared to your future films.
The incidence of new breast cancer cases is increasing at a yearly rate. It is essential to detect an early cancer so that cosmetic procedures of the breast do not cut across, distort, diminish the opportunity for cure, or limit the usefulness of lumpectomy in the treatment of the cancer.
The 18 to 40 year old patient is the most commonly debated age group concerning whether or not to perform preoperative mammograms. This age group has not had a high incidence of breast cancer but presently has a higher incidence than previously reported because of earlier diagnosis. Plastic surgeon commonly advises getting an ultrasound rather than mammogram pre-op due to the age.
If a patient with a significant family history desires breast augmentation, then the patient must be forewarned of the problems of the implant possibly reducing the chance of early detection of cancer and consideration given to placing the implants beneath the pectoralis major muscle.
Standard placement of implants for breast augmentation should have no influence on your risk of breast cancer. In other words, you need a mammogram if you need a mammogram, not because you have implants.
Mammograms for women with breast implants
If you have breast implants, you should still get regular screening mammograms. However, you need to tell the technologist you have implants before your mammogram is started. In fact, its best to mention this when you make the appointment to have your mammogram done. This way you can find out if the facility has experience doing mammograms in women with breast implants.