woman performing self breast exam

When you got your silicone breast implants, do you remember your plastic surgeon telling you it’s recommended to get an MRI every 2 to 3 years to monitor for possible rupture? Do you also remember thinking, “yeah, fat chance I’ll do that.”

If so, you are not alone, but you’re also not off the hook. While uncommon, silicone breast implants can develop a tear or rupture in the shell, and when they do, it’s almost always a “silent rupture”—meaning the only way to tell it’s there is with imaging. As we tell all our patients, these tests are important.

Dreading having a breast MRI? High Resolution Ultrasound is quicker, more comfortable, and less expensive.

The good news is that an MRI is no longer your only option. High Resolution Ultrasound (HRUS) can also be used to monitor for silent rupture, and we are pleased to offer it here at Plastic Surgery Center of Hampton Roads. Clinical studies have shown that HRUS can detect a silicone implant rupture as accurately as MRI, in a shorter, less expensive procedure.

What is high resolution ultrasound?

As the name implies, high resolution ultrasound is a type of imaging that produces a highly detailed picture using sound. High-frequency sound waves are delivered through the skin via a device called a transducer. The sound waves bounce off the breast tissue, breast capsule, and breast implant shell. Put simply, how the sound wave bounces back will change depending on what type of tissue or material it hits. The machine interprets this information as an image that depicts what the inside of the breast looks like, including the breast implant.

For patients, the procedure is just like any other ultrasound test. We apply gel to the breast skin to help conduct the sound waves, and then move the transducer over the skin to get the images. It is painless and quick.

Benefits of high resolution ultrasound

In addition to highly accurate imaging that can help us detect silent rupture, HRUS has multiple advantages for patients over MRI, especially when you come to PSCHR for your test:

  • Shorter appointment time. Breast implant imaging with HRUS takes less than 20 minutes.
  • Less stressful procedure. Ultrasound is a quiet procedure done in a standard exam chair or table. MRI is notorious for its loud noises and claustrophobic effect.
  • It’s safe for anyone. Ultrasound has been used for over half a century in medicine, and unlike MRI, having a pacemaker, joint screws, or other metallic implants is not a contraindication. You don’t even have to remove your jewelry!
  • The ultimate in convenience. At PSCHR, your HRUS is done in one of our comfortable exam rooms, by one of our Registered Nurses. For MRI, you will likely have to get an appointment at an imaging center with unfamiliar providers.

Call for your breast implant imaging appointment today!

Whether you’re due (or even past due) for a recommended screening or you simply want the peace of mind that comes with knowing your silicone implants are intact, you’ll feel good after checking breast implant screening off your list. We’re now booking appointments for all patients, regardless of where you had your breast augmentation done. Call 757-873-3500 to schedule.

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