Can I examine my breasts for lumps after having Breast Implants?

Our specialist surgeons often get asked by patients about Breast Enlargement surgery and how breast implants might affect examination for breast cancer.

In fact, if you have had breast enlargement surgery there is no need to be concerned about this.

Can I examine my breasts for lumps after Breast Implant Surgery?

Yes, it is possible to examine your breasts for lumps after having breast implants. It is also possible to have investigation, such as mammograms and ultrasounds of natural breast tissue, following having breast implants.

The reason for this is that the breast implants are placed behind the breast tissue in all cases. The breast tissue is not divided and the connection between the breast milk glands and the nipple remains intact after breast enlargement surgery.

This is not the case with many types of breast uplift or breast reduction procedures, in which the natural breast tissue is divided.

If the natural breast tissue is divided this does involve division of some of the milk ducts, so the milk cannot get between the glands in which the milk is produced to the nipple successfully. Generally after a breast reduction and sometimes a mastopexy, breastfeeding it is not possible.

Since the breast implants are placed behind your breast tissue, your existing natural breast tissue is pushed forward and it is therefore possible to check your breast tissue regularly for lumps as they will not be concealed behind the implants.

It is important that you still perform regular self-examination

We recommend that you do perform regular self-examination of your breast tissue, as although breast implants have not been shown to be associated with an increased rate of breast cancer, breast cancer can occur in a normal rate following breast enlargement surgery as it would if you had not had breast implants.

 At Aurora we also offer a yearly follow-up appointment to assess your breast tissue and in the meantime, if you have any concerns that you may be developing any lumps in your breast tissue, we encourage you to schedule a prompt appointment with one of our specialists so that we can assess the area.

Is it possible to have Mammograms following surgery with Breast Implants?

Yes, it is possible to have mammograms following breast enlargement surgery but it is important to make sure that the type of mammogram does not compress the breast implants.

Mammograms are essentially X-rays of the breast tissue and X-rays are formed between two films on which the X-rays are recorded.

It is important that modern mammogram machines are used which do not significantly compress the breast tissue as this compression can, in some cases, damage the breast implants.

What about ultrasounds and MRI scans?

Ultrasounds and MRI scans are also often used to assess breast tissue, but neither of these significantly compress the breast tissue and there’s no danger of damaging breast implants with either mammograms or ultrasounds.

 However, if you are having an ultrasound, it is important to let the practitioner know that you have breast implants, as they may need to adjust the settings of their machines so that they can adequately assess your breast tissue.

Overall, breast implants have not been shown to have any increase in rate of breast cancer and investigations such as mammograms, ultrasounds and MRIs are possible following breast enlargement surgery.

Likewise, it is possible for either yourself or your physician to assess your breast tissue in the normal fashion for any lumps or abnormalities and these lumps or abnormalities can be treated by biopsy (taking a specimen of them) in the normal fashion of the ultrasound control.

For more information or to book your breast enlargement consultation with one of our Aurora specialist surgeons, call today on 01324 578290.