Checking For Lumps after Breast Implants

Q&A with Dr. Carlin Vickery

Cosmetic Breast Surgery NYC

Q: Do implants make it harder or easier to detect lumps? My friend is considering getting implants, but is worried that she won’t be able to detect lumps effectively; what should she do?

A: Breast implants should not make it more difficult to detect lumps. The reason for this is because the implants go under your overlying breast tissue or under the pectoralis muscle.  In some instances, breast implants actually make it easier to detect lumps. The firmness of the implants will allow you to roll your overlying breast tissue against the implant, which makes it easy to feel any irregularities. However, some radiologists feel that breast implants make it slightly more difficult to read mammograms.  It is important that you tell the technician performing your mammogram that you have implants, because it may require special views to image the entire breast. If a needle biopsy is required there is some risk of rupturing the implant, therefore it is crucial to have a doctor that is experienced with implants perform any biopsy. With these precautions, most patients can proceed with breast augmentation knowing that they will get adequate cancer surveillance.
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