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Cancer. 1991 Sep 1;68(5 Suppl):1159-63.

The effect of silicone-gel-filled implants on mammography.

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Division of Surgical Oncology, Breast Center, Van Nuys, California 91405.


Fifty-four women who had previously undergone breast augmentation underwent film-screen mammography using both the standard implant compression technique and, when possible, the implant displacement technique. All had preaugmentation mammography available for evaluation. The area of mammographically visualized breast tissue before and after augmentation mammoplasty was measured using a transparent grid. Patients with subglandular implants had a mean 44% decrease of measurable tissue area with compression mammography and 36% decrease with displacement mammography. Patients with submuscular implants had a mean 25% decrease in measurable tissue area with compression mammography and 15% decrease with displacement mammography. Anterior breast tissue was seen better with displacement mammography, and posterior breast tissue was seen better with compression mammography. Most patients had some degree of parenchymal scarring and lower image quality after augmentation. State-of-the-art mammography was not possible in most patients whose breasts were augmented with silicone-gel-filled implants.

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