October is the month in which worldwide attention is drawn to breast cancer. Breast cancer is a cancer that is common in women. That's why breast exams are so important. A frequently asked question to our plastic surgeons is: “Is breast examination possible if you have breast prostheses?
This is a very valid question and we would like to discuss it in more detail.
Breast examination for breast prostheses
It is very important to check your breasts regularly after breast surgery. This self-examination is certainly possible if you have prostheses. In addition, you should regularly have a breast examination performed by a professional.
Women aged 50 to 75 are offered a mammogram every 2 years during the population screening. Even if you have breast prostheses, you can have a screening mammogram. For this examination it is important to let the radiologist / specialist know that you have breast prostheses. If possible, also discuss the type of prostheses. Due to the prostheses, it is possible that the mammary gland tissue is not clearly visible during the mammography. The specialist can then make an Eklund recording. During this examination, the prosthesis is pushed back against the chest wall, making the anterior part of the breast more visible on the mammogram. This additional survey is included in the Population Survey.
Other options for breast examination
If the results are not clear after the Population Screening or if abnormalities in the tissue are visible, the next step is an MRI scan or ultrasound scan. There is no radiation exposure in these investigations. In addition to the breasts, the surrounding glands are often also examined. In principle, the plastic surgeon can refer you for an MRI scan. However, there may be costs involved. Always check this with the health insurer.
Keep checking your breasts!
Breast examination is of great importance for all women. Whether or not you have breast prostheses. Women with breast prostheses should be extra alert to the following symptoms:
- sore breasts
- A burning sensation
- Change of shape
- Breast lumps
- Unusual swelling
- Nipple change
- Skin discoloration
In case of one of these complaints, always make an appointment with a specialist.