The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the makers of breast implants to monitor for problems and to notify the FDA of any issues in order to maintain the safest possible environment for patients considering breast augmentation. One way that this is performed is through regular imaging of patients with breast implants to monitor for rupture. Imaging can be accomplished by MRI Screening or Ultrasound Screening.
The FDA recommends that women with breast implants undergo a screening MRI 5 years after their initial surgery, and every 2 years after that (FDA Implant Labeling, 2020).
The FDA also has determined that Ultrasound is an acceptable alternative for screening in patients without symptoms (FDA Implant Labeling, 20201).
Surveillance imaging should not be treated as a substitute or replacement for other imaging, such as mammography for breast cancer. In addition to regular self-exams, patients should continue with their normal schedule of screening imaging based on their circumstances and history.
If you have other questions, please contact us and we will happily discuss any questions you may have, or you can schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons.
In light of the FDA’s updated recommendations for Ultrasound screening, Atlantic Plastic Surgery is now offering Ultrasound screening to all patients with breast implants.
The FDA recommends that patients undergo screening on the following schedule:
- Initial screening five years after placement
- Then, every two years thereafter.
If your implants were placed at Atlantic Plastic Surgery, you are eligible for complementary screenings. This service will be offered to all current and future patients, as we want to make sure that our patients have the utmost confidence in their result. Most importantly, we want you to feel safe.
Ultrasound is a safe, simple and efficient screening tool for evaluating your breast implants. It is considered “non-invasive”. Ultrasound waves themselves do not cause any pain or discomfort. Further, ultrasound imaging does not require exposure to harmful radiation, as X-rays do.
Your exam will be performed in our clinic, using a hand-held ultrasound device that is connected to a tablet where images are viewable in real-time. Results are usually available to patients almost immediately, and in most cases your surgeon will review them with you and answer any questions you may have.
Comparative Cost Savings
The average cost of a breast MRI at a hospital or mammography center is approximately $1500, or about as much as purchasing a new laptop computer. Insurance companies likely will not cover the cost of a screening MRI for patients who have undergone cosmetic breast augmentation.
A breast ultrasound is also fairly expensive, with the average cost of a breast ultrasound alone (without interpretation) around $175 (for one side) or $350 (for bilateral).
We are offering our patients this complementary service, on a schedule based on current FDA recommendations, because we appreciate you choosing Atlantic Plastic Surgery and we want you to feel confident about the status of your implants.
If you have previously undergone breast reconstruction after mastectomy, coverage for a breast MRI likely will depend on your insurance policy. Patients should contact their insurance carrier(s) directly with questions regarding coverage.
We accept self-referrals. You do not need a referral from a physician in order to have an ultrasound screening.
If you did not have your breast augmentation surgery performed by either of our surgeons, and you have concerns regarding the status of your breast implants, please call us at 603-431-8819 to schedule an efficient, painless ultrasound screening with us here at Atlantic Plastic Surgery.
The cost for self-referred patients to have an ultrasound screening is $250, which is less than what you would pay for a breast ultrasound study done at a hospital.
The benefit, of course, is that one of our plastic surgeons will likely be readily available to answer any questions or concerns you may have!