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I have a titanium chip marking a "problem" area in my right breast where...

Q:

I have a titanium chip marking a "problem" area in my right breast where microcalcifications were removed and tested and came back fine. I have to have mammograms every 6 months. My grandmother on my mother's side died of breast cancer at 38. I have very saggy breasts that have shrunken considerably due to weight loss and breast feeding. Would I be a candidate for breast lift and/or augmentation, or should I avoid these procedures because of my breast health "issues"?

A:

It's difficult to give an accurate response without actually examining this patient. For example is the "titanium chip" in an area outside the proposed surgical site? If it is, then one might proceed with the surgery. However, without a more complete history and exam, my inclination would be to recommend against this patient having surgery, because of the "breast health issues" described.

A:

I would advise establishing a relationship with a general surgeon specializing in breast surgery and breast health.  He or she should be able to help you assess your risk of cancer and the advisability of breast augmentation in terms of monitoring for breast cancer.  With implants, your mammogram is never as accurate as without implants but other screening tools can be helpful.  The titanium clip most likely will not be a problem with augmentation.  Your plastic surgeon can communicate with the breast specialist and proceed from there along with having a thorough discussion of the pros and cons of breast augmentation in your specific situation.

Susan Vasko, MD, FACS

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