Are your implants getting enough attention? Ahem, from you that is!
It’s tempting to believe that once you’ve made the decision to get breast implants, that the process is a done deal. In fact, many women believe that the only time they’ll ever have to thing about their implants again is when they’re admiring themselves in a hot new bikini!
For the most part this is true. Implants do not require a lot of maintenance. But there is one thing that I feel all women with breast implants should make sure to do periodically: get MRI scans of their breasts.
Keep Reading to find out why an MRI is a good idea for your DD’s!
What is an MRI Scan?
Magnetic resonant imaging (MRI) scans use a powerful magnetic field to produce detailed images of the area of the body being scanned. It sounds complicated, but what distinguishes an MRI is that it can provide information that other methods like x-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans can’t. Doctors can use breast MRI’s to detect cancer, for example, as well as other abnormalities in the breast tissue.
What do MRIs have to do with my “Double D’s”?
The number one abnormality that a breast MRI can detect is a leak from a ruptured implant.
When a saline implant ruptures, you’ll know because it deflates as the saline leaks out causing a visible change in the shape and size of your breast. Luckily,since the fluid is just salt water, it’s absorbed harmlessly into your body.
When a silicone gel implant ruptures, it may not be so easy to tell. Silicone leaks are often called “silent” ruptures because of how difficult they are to detect.This is where breast MRIs come in to save the day. They are the only way of detecting what would otherwise be an invisible silicone implant leak.
Why do I need to scan?
A ruptured silicone implant may not put you at risk for disease, but if it’s left undetected for too long, it can still have some undesireable consequences, like capsular contracture. When your implants are first placed in your breasts, scar tissue forms around the implant. Silicone gel leaks can inflame this tissue, which leads to even more scar tissue forming. This can eventually lead to the formation of a hard capsule around your implant, which can warp your breast shape, and cause you to feel pain or discomfort.
How often should I check for leaks?
The FDA recommends that you have your first MRI scan three years after your original surgery, and then repeat MRI’s every 2 years after that. This precaution is specific to women who have silicone implants,because of the chance of a silent rupture.
It’s important to note that MRIs can show false positives, meaning that they can say you have a leak when you really don’t. Since they are not always one hundred percent accurate, you should ask your plastic surgeon to review any positive results with you to establish a clear plan of action.
What is the price of health?
Since breast augmentation is generally considered optional and not medically necessary, MRI scans to monitor your implants may not be covered by your insurance. If this proves true for you, it can get pretty expensive and even add up costing more than the surgery itself! The question is, what price will you pay for your health?
MRI’s may be expensive, but at least they’re safe! Since MRI machines are basically just huge magnets, you’re not exposed to any radiation during your scans. It may be a hassle, but if you have implants you should think of getting breast MRI’s the same way you think about any other periodical check-up.
MRI’s are painless, and they don’t take long (about an hour). Even though you’re implants look fabulous on the outside, it’s important to know that they’re fabulous inside as well. Remember, your health is never a place to cut corners.
Maintenance Really Is the key to staying sexy and safe!
Usha Rajagopal, MDPlastic Surgeon
San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center www.sfcosmeticsurgery.com
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com
NOTICE: None of the celebrities or individuals discussed here have ever received treatment, surgery, medical advice, or evaluations from any author, physician, surgeon, or representative of this blog. All images and photos in this article represent models only. No actual patients or clients are shown.