Should I Get A Mammogram Before My Breast Augmentation?

Q:  I am going to get a breast augmentation next month. I am 23 years old. My plastic surgeon never mentioned or suggested about getting a mammogram before surgery. I have read that some plastic surgeons require it while others do not. What is your recommendation?

A: Whether a mammogram is needed before breast augmentation has no uniform answer. Every plastic surgeon has a different perspective on this issue.  My practice is to not get a mammogram under the age of 35 unless there is a family history of breast cancer or a history of breast problems such as cysts or fibromas. While breast cancer does rarely occur in younger patients, the statistical likelihood of a young patient having it is so low that I do not feel that the extra expense and radiation exposure justifies the effort. After age 35, I follow the recommendations of the American Cancer Society in regards to a baseline mammogram and subsequent studies. Some plastic surgeons routinuely get mammograms regardless of age before breast augmentation and this is a perfectly valid approach as well. You need to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon and reach a mutually acceptable approach to the need for this presurgical breast screening study.  

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana