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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2008;61(2):124-9. Epub 2007 Nov 26.

Augmentation mammoplasty: effect on diagnosis of breast cancer.

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Department of Surgery, Leeds General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK.


Breast augmentation for cosmetic purposes is an increasingly common procedure in the USA and UK. In the USA in 2003, a total of 254 140 breast augmentation procedures were carried out [American Society of Plastic Surgeons,; 2006.(1)]. It has been previously estimated that between 1 and 1.5 million women in the USA have prosthetic breast implants [Cook RR, Delongchamp RR, Woodbury M, et al. The prevalence of women with breast implants in the United States, 1989. J Clin Epidemiol 1995;48:519-25.(2)]. The UK National Breast Implant Registry has recorded a rise in the numbers of women receiving breast implants, with over 13 000 procedures registered in 2001; an estimated 77% of these were for cosmetic purposes. No association has been found between the presence of breast implants in a breast and an increased risk of breast cancer, and this subject has been comprehensively reviewed elsewhere [Hoshaw SJ, Klein PJ, Clark BD, et al. Breast implants and cancer: causation, delayed detection, and survival. Plast Reconstr Surg 2001;107:1393-407.(3)]. However, as the population of women with breast implants ages, an increasing number of them will develop breast cancer; a reflection of the fact that the incidence of the disease increases with increasing age. Debate continues on the effect of breast implants on the efficacy of mammography in diagnosing breast cancer, and the role of other imaging techniques for this purpose, as well as the limitations that the presence of implants place on percutaneous biopsy techniques. We review the literature on the radiological and tissue diagnosis of breast cancer in women with a history of previous augmentation mammaplasty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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