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Topic: Mammogram after bilateral mastectomy with implants.

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Oct 13, 2009 06:42AM

Edelstoff wrote:

Hi, I just had my 6  month check-up.  I was shocked to learn that the surgeon wants me to have a mammogram.  I had a bilateral skin sparing mastectomy (nipples removed) with immediate reconstruction (expanders exchanged for silicone cohesive gel implants, Inamed 492cc).  It has been 2 years since my last mammogram at the time I was diagnosed.  Has anyone else had a mammogram in this situation?  If so, how was it?  I am worried about damage being done to the implants and also if this is truly necessary.  Thanks so much. Geri

Dx 7/7/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Oct 13, 2009 06:47AM Mantra wrote:

Oddly enough, I was just discussing this with a few people on the board. My single mastectomy was Sept 16 and I have tissue expanders. My breast cancer surgeon said I will need a mastectomy next Sept. I was shocked but she explained that not all breast tissue can be removed and a mastectomy is therefore required. I'm still trying to research this. Some Dr. sites say it is not necessary, others say they still require one be done. So maybe it's not a black and white issue. However, someone mentioned a concern about have a mammogram and it causing lymphedema. Valid point. Please keep in touch and let me know what you find out.

Dx 7/10/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Oct 13, 2009 06:48AM carolehalston wrote:

Geri, I also had BMX, skin and nipple sparing, and silicone implants.  My cancer dr. wants me to have one mammogram to use as a baseline for the underarms.  After that, my screening will be an ultrasound every 6 mos.  I don't think the technician will squeeze the implants like our natural breast tissue was squeezed in a vise.  Our dx's are almost identical except I had 4 nodes removed instead of 7.  Good luck.  I hope you'll give me a report on your experience either in a PM or on this thread.

Nipple-Sparing BMX w/Alloderm & Silicone Implants 7/24/09, Oncotype Dx 9, No Chemo, No Rads, Arimidex Dx 6/25/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 13, 2009 07:04AM Edelstoff wrote:

Hi, Thanks so much for the quick replies.  I will talk to the technician before I go to find out about how they do the mammogram. I hate surprises!  Carol, my plastic surgeon also used Alloderm to create slings to help support the implants.  I see we do have similar diagnoses.  I did have  7 isolated tumor cells in one lymph node. The tumor board reevaluated my case and had a long discussion with the pathologist.  I am still considered node negative. Yet, a recent Dutch study (MIRROR study) disputes this and considers it node positive).  So much of this is "shooting from the hip" as my oncologist once said.  I am strongly ER/PR positive, but declined an A.I. My mammogram is scheduled for early November. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again. Geri

Dx 7/7/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Oct 13, 2009 10:35AM abbadoodles wrote:

I don't know of anyone personally who had to have mammos after implant recon.  From what I was told, it is not a good idea at all but you may have an unusual situation.

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Oct 13, 2009 10:46PM Farrah wrote:

I thought you could only have an MRI

Mammogram doesn't make sense to me - there's no mammo to gram!! 

bilateral mastectomy May 08. Silicon implants July 08 Dx 5/8/2008, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Nov 11, 2009 11:13AM Edelstoff wrote:

I finally heard back from the oncology nurse after a great deal of questioning.  She said "no mammogram".  I asked, why was it ordered, I basically go a "no comment" response. I did not push it.  Before I heard back from her, I was able to discuss my situation with the top docs at another breast cancer center and they said that they do not advise mammograms, just careful exams.  Thanks so much for your comments, this is the most informative forum out there..due to you ladies who share so much knowledge. Geri

Dx 7/7/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Nov 11, 2009 01:23PM skippyrcis wrote:

Farrah.... that was a great reply!

Dx 1/2/2009, IDC, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 11, 2009 11:09PM dhorak wrote:

I know that this is about 5 weeks since the original post, but...... My onco told me that if there were ever any problems or questions about the chest wall area, I would have an MRI since I've had silicone implants.

Denise Dx 2/12/2008, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/33 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Nov 12, 2009 12:15AM lvtwoqlt wrote:

My surgeon and plastic surgeon both told me no mammograms after my bilat mast with implant recon. This week I went to a new GP (old gp left the practice) and after I told him I had bc in 2007 and bilat with recon, he asked me when I had my last mammo. I told him my surgeon and ps both said no mammo after my recon. As he was doing the breast exam, he asked me if I had any nipple discharge or pain in my breasts. I told him no - they are fake!  Either he wasn't really listening to me and asking the usual questions during the exam or he couldn't tell they were fake looking at the tattoos.


Women are like tea bags, we don't know how strong we are until we were thrown into hot water. Eleanore Roosevelt Diagnosed ADH Feb 2005, ADH Sept 2006 Surgery 2/11/2005 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 9/9/2006 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 10/11/2006 Dx 4/27/2007, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes Surgery 5/31/2007 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Nov 13, 2009 08:37AM Edelstoff wrote:

I appreciate this discussion.  It seems there is some debate among the docs about the mammograms.  


I was mostly concerned about the technician breaking my implants.  Maybe I should have had it.  Yet, it seems most women do not.  Geri 

Dx 7/7/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Nov 13, 2009 09:07AM Pepperhargrove wrote:

I had implants prior to my bilateral mx on Oct 20th. Mammos hurt with breast tissue and implants bc they have to seperate the two for the mammo. My surgical oncologist/reconstructive plastic surgeon said I will not need mammo in the future only MRI. Hope all goes well!


Dx 9/1/2009, DCIS, 1cm
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Nov 13, 2009 09:21AM rubytuesday wrote:

I have one side reconstructed and one side augmented.  I only have a mammogram on my augmented side.  I actually find the mammogram on my augmented side to be more comfortable than it was before implants. They first do 2 views with the implant in place and then they have me lean forward and push the implant back so that just the breast tissue goes into the plates.  It isn't bad at all for me.  Best wishes

Proud member of the TaTa Sisterhood! :)

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