When the FDA approved silicone breast implants for cosmetic breast augmentation in 2006, it made the recommendation that women undergo an MRI 3 years after the procedure and then every two years thereafter to screen for silent breast implant rupture. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, is state-of-the-art technology which is considered the gold standard for diagnosing breast implant rupture. Most insurance plans do not cover the cost of an MRI performed for breast implant surveillance and patient costs for this procedure can run anywhere from $500 to $2000. Follow-up data after 2006 demonstrates no conclusive link between silicone breast implants and breast cancer, reproductive problems, or any connective tissue diseases, but, as of now, the FDA has yet to drop the recommendation for routine MRI screening to assess for breast implant rupture.
Most plastic surgeons believe that the evidence to support such as an aggressive silicone breast implant surveillance program does not exist. In 2008, surgeons from Memorial Sloan Kettering reported that MRI surveillance has not been demonstrated to lead to a reduction in patient morbidity nor have the benefits of MRI screening been shown to outweigh risks, which can include patient anxiety and false-positive results that can lead to unnecessary surgery.
Some patients believe in following the FDA’s guidelines strictly, and Dr. Jejurikar certainly respects their desire to do so; in these cases, he facilitates the patient getting an MRI. Unless a patient has a specific problem that requires further investigation, however, given the lack of proven efficacy of routine surveillance MRI, as well as the costs and risks associated with the test, Dr. Jejurikar does not endorse routine MRI screening for breast implant rupture.
To learn more about silicone breast augmentation, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sam Jejurikar, contact his Dallas or Plano offices at 214-827-2814.