Breast Ultrasounds

FDA Recommends Breast Implant Ultrasound Check Ups

As many patients are aware, the FDA has been closely monitoring breast implants in recent months to ensure their safety and efficacy for breast augmentation and reconstruction. Although the vast majority of these devices are very safe and result in no complications, occasionally there are concerns brought to me by patients. To assist patients in feeling more informed, and secure in their implant choice, I will now be offering Breast Implant Ultrasound Checkups. This will help to inform patients with breast implants, and stay compliant with the FDA’s NEW breast implant surveillance recommendations.

Participating in clinical research has been a passion during my training as a Plastic Surgeon and General Surgeon at the Mayo Clinic. This passion continued when I delved into private practice. As a co-investigator for the 4th and 5th generation gel implants, I have been able to review what I was doing with the various implants of the day beginning in 1998. Since then I have been reviewing, publishing, and making industry contacts with the goal of bringing our patients best-in-class care for cosmetic breast implant procedures here in Charlotte, North Carolina.

After more than 20 years in practice, I have placed thousands of 5th generation gummy bear implants. We are now seeing a change in the surveillance of those implants. As I was in direct contact with those at the FDA hearing this past March, the recommendation for breast implant surveillance has now changed. Previously, they recommended an MRI 3 years post-operation. Currently, they are recommending an Ultrasound examination 5 years post-operation.

Ultrasound is easy to administer, less expensive, and commonplace in most specialties; however, it is not yet common in plastic surgery. Capizzi MD Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Care is proud to provide these exams for those concerned with the status of their implants. We are the first in the Charlotte area to offer this service to our patients.

I will examine our patients myself and look forward to advancing the safety and science for my patients. If you are concerned about your implants, please contact my office for a consultation which can include an ultrasound examination.

Breast Ultrasound FAQ’s

What can an ultrasound tell me about my implants?

A lot! An ultrasound can tell you if you are experiencing a capsular contracture that may be causing a ripple in your implant. It can tell you what your implant is made of if you’re not sure if they’re saline or silicone. It can help diagnose seromas in the event you have a lump, or help tell you if you need additional testing. Or, an ultrasound can tell you if the implant has been ruptured and needs to be replaced.

How often do I need to have this testing done?

The FDA recommends the first ultrasound happen 5 years after the implant is placed. Then, it should be tested every two years thereafter to make sure everything is healthy.

Can an ultrasound detect an implant rupture?

If you have silicone breast implants and suspect that an implant might have ruptured, talk to your plastic surgeon. An imaging test, such as an ultrasound, can show whether the implant has ruptured.

If you have a silent rupture — one that’s not causing signs or symptoms — your plastic surgeon will explain possible treatment options. If you have a ruptured silicone implant that’s causing signs or symptoms, your surgeon will likely recommend surgical removal. If you want, a new implant can usually be inserted at the same time. If you no longer want breast implants, you might want a breast lift or fat grafting to maintain volume and shape.

How does ultrasound work?

A breast ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to create a black-and-white image of breast tissues and structures. Doctors often use ultrasound as an early diagnostic tool to evaluate breast implants, lumps, or other abnormalities. Unlike CT scans and X-rays, an ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation. For this reason, doctors often recommend an ultrasound for individuals who are not candidates for radiation-based imaging techniques.

As a premier provider of breast augmentation in Charlotte, Capizzi MD Cosmetic Surgery and Skincare strives to offer the best patient experience every time. Part of that is helping those with implants remain safe and informed by offering ultrasound check ups as part of a breast augmentation service. Whether you’re a new or existing patient, schedule an ultrasound check up with Dr. Capizzi to keep up with FDA recommended safety standards.

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