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Checking implant integrity

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farmerlucy
farmerlucy Member Posts: 596
edited January 2022 in Breast Reconstruction

I’m ten years out from DMX with implant recon behind the pecs. My onc has released me to my PCP for follow up and I haven’t had an MRI in several years. Are screening ultrasounds good enough to check the integrity of the implants? Seems a lot easier and cheaper than an MRI. Anyone getting screening ultrasounds after DMX to check implants?

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  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,865
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    Farmerlucy,

    My implants are also ten years old. My mo did not recommend any type of imaging for checking the implants unless I noticed something amiss. She manually examined that at my last visit. I know that some will consider this approach to not be good enough but I’m ok with it.

  • farmerlucy
    farmerlucy Member Posts: 596
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    Thanks for that point of view.I think most of my aches and pains could be fixed by being twenty years younger! Ha! Great to “see” you!

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,865
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    Happy to “see” you as well. I think the old ten year replacement idea is starting to go by the wayside. I have also been told but have not verified that ten years is when the manufacturers warranty expires so that is what contributed to the previous ten year concerns. Personally I can live without additional imaging unless absolutely necessary!

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
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    As I've mentioned in other posts, I had my implants removed at 13 years, thanks to requiring surgery due to a second primary breast cancer diagnosis. One implant was for reconstruction, the other was a small "enhancement" implant that I'd had put in to even out my two sides. These 13 year old implants, both of which had been sub-pectoral, were described by my PS in the post-surgical report as being in "pristine" condition when they were removed. Nor had I developed any scar tissue around the implants. I did not have regular screening to assess implant integrity (separate from my breast cancer screenings) although I did have an MRI one time when the implant seemed to have moved or folded over.

    Of course everyone's situation will be different but I wanted to share my experience as evidence that implants certainly can last well beyond 10 years.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,129
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    My original beloved MO said I'd have to fight for imaging, even though I'd already had one recurrence. Once he retired, his replacement MO said no kind of tests are needed - ever. The radiologist who diagnosed my original cancer recommended a breast ultrasound every other year after my BMX & reconstruction, primarily to screen for another cancer recurrence, but also to check the implants since I too am 10 years out. He doesn't believe an MRI is necessary unless the ULS shows a problem. My new MO agrees with him. I have no plans to have implants removed.

  • farmerlucy
    farmerlucy Member Posts: 596
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    Thankyou so much ladies! I think I’ll ask my pcp to refer me for an ultrasound when I see him in May. I so appreciate everybody’s input!!