Breast Implant and Mammography
Breast Implant and Mammography

Mammogram is a low dose x-ray of the breast. It is used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge.

The Health Promotion Board of the Ministry of Health, Singapore, recommends that women aged 40-49 years have regular mammograms every year and women above 50 years of age, every two years. Women who are at higher risk of developing breast cancer should see a doctor for advice. You may need to go for screening earlier and more frequently.

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What Is a mammogram?

Mammogram is a low dose x-ray of the breast. It is used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge.

The Health Promotion Board of the Ministry of Health, Singapore, recommends that women aged 40-49 years have regular mammograms every year and women above 50 years of age, every two years. Women who are at higher risk of developing breast cancer should see a doctor for advice. You may need to go for screening earlier and more frequently.

How Is a mammogram performed?

Mammogram is performed by a specially trained female radiographer.

You will be asked to stand next to the x-ray equipment. The radiographer will position your breast on a flat plate which is part of the mammography equipment. Your breast will then be compressed by a plastic paddle.

Breast compression is necessary in order to:
  • Even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized.
  • Spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities won’t be obscured by overlying breast tissue.
  • Allow the use of a lower x-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is being imaged.
  • Hold the breast still in order to eliminate blurring of the image caused by motion.
  • Reduce x-ray scatter to increase sharpness of picture.

The radiographer will stand behind a glass shield during the x-ray exposure. You will be asked to change positions slightly between images. The routine views are a top-tobottom view and an oblique side view. The process will be repeated for the other breast.

The examination process should take less than half an hour. When the mammography is completed you will be asked to wait until the radiographer checks the images to determine if more are needed.

Breast Implants

Women with breast implants should also follow the same guidelines for checking their breast as those without implants.

However, due to the implant, besides the usual views taken in mammography, several special mammography views can be taken to better visualize the breast tissue. The differences in imaging breast with and without implants are as follows:

  1. Examination of augmented breasts (breasts with implants) is more time consuming as more views are required.
  2. Breast implants can also impede accurate mammogram readings because both silicone and saline implants are not transparent on x-rays and can block a clear view of the tissues behind them, especially if the implant has been placed in front of, rather than beneath, the chest muscles. It Is estimated that about 25% of breast tissue will not be seen on the mammogram as it will be covered by the implant. The radiographer will use special techniques to take clearer x-rays of your breasts. You might find this uncomfortable.
  3. As with the usual mammogram, compression is an important aspect of mammography examination. Radiographers take special care to use minimal compression on the breast implant during the breast x-ray procedure. It is highly unlikely, but possible, that this compression could cause or worsen leaking of silicone or change the shape or texture of the breast.
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Breast Implant and Mammography is available at:

Radiology Department,
Gleneagles Hospital

6A Napier Road
Singapore 258500
(65) 6470 5730
Fax: (65) 6470 5749

Radiology Department,
Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

38 Irrawady Road, Level 2
Singapore 329563
(65) 6933 1188
Fax: (65) 6933 0526

Radiology Department,
Parkway East Hospital

321 Joo Chiat Place
Singapore 427990
(65) 6340 8714
Fax: (65) 6340 8670

Radiologic Clinic,
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre

3 Mount Elizabeth #01-01/02 Mount
Elizabeth Medical Centre
Singapore 228510
(65) 6731 2727
Fax: (65) 6235 5279

Radiologic Clinic,
Breast Imaging Centre

290 Orchard Road
#07-04/05/06 Paragon
Singapore 238859
(65) 6732 1166
Fax: (65) 6732 5933

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