What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a procedure that uses low-dose x-ray energy to look for any physical changes inside the breasts. The results are then saved into a computer for the radiologist to examine.
Why is mammogram important?
You might wonder why you would still need a mammogram when you can simply palpate for any hardening or lumps in your breasts. Unfortunately, this method does not really give accurate results and has very limited accuracy.
A mammogram provides a more detailed view of the breast especially the most little lumps that can be hard to feel on the outside. It can be done on women who have or don’t have any implants.
This procedure plays a significant role when detecting growths or lumps and finding out whether they are cancerous or benign. In fact, most breast cancers have been detected through this type of breast screening.
What challenges do breast implants create during mammograms?
A mammogram is actually a simple procedure where your breast is placed in between two plates; one is an x-ray plate while the other is plastic. These plates are attached to a special x-ray machine and it then presses on the breast tissue to flatten it resulting in a clearer view of the internal structures.
Women who have tried it claim that a mammogram feels uncomfortable as if their breasts are tightly squeezed or pinched. The discomfort doesn’t have to last long because usually, only two pictures of each breast would have to be taken. The entire procedure can take at least 20 minutes from start to finish.
It becomes an entirely different picture when a woman has implants. It can be a little more challenging for the radiologist to distinguish the images more clearly because the implants can obscure the picture.
That is why women should mention this right away to their doctors or radiologists so that certain precautions can be made to ensure that proper imaging is done.
It is expected that the entire procedure will take longer for those who have implants since additional positioning would have to be done to properly capture the areas around the implants.
Some women express concern over the fact that they become more exposed to radiation, but they can put their worries to rest because the low dosage used for the length of the procedure does not create detrimental effects.
Others are also worried about the amount of pressure applied and how it can place the implants at risk for leaks or ruptures. For those who already have implants that have compromised covers share their fear that it could worsen the problem. Some are even concerned that it might change the shape of the implants. But there is no need to worry about this because once the radiologist is informed that you have breast implants, he will take extra care and certain positioning techniques to prevent any injury.
In addition to masses and lumps, mammograms done on women with implants can also detect calcification. These are calcium deposits that form within the breast tissue, particularly with silicone implants.
Women, who have breast implants in Australia, are urged to get regular screening every two years for those less than 40 years old, and yearly for those ageing above 40. Mammograms allow early detection of breast cancer especially those that are still in its early stage.neral information about cosmetic surgery. General information is not a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment, and should not be accepted in place or in preference to a consultation with a surgeon.
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