High Resolution Ultrasound Provides Information About Implants

HRUS can help women more easily determine if their silicone gel breast implants have experienced silent rupture. Photo credit: sergey02/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Marc Salzman, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in Louisville, KY, along with other plastic surgeons around the nation, are offering new, high-resolution ultrasound (HRUS) technology to help patients more easily detect ruptured silicone gel implants.

While the FDA currently recommends regular MRI scans for women with silicone gel implants every two years for the life of the implants in order to detect silent ruptures, compliance rates are low. In addition, MRIs are expensive, and are usually not covered by health insurance plans. Studies show that in-office high-resolution ultrasound (HRUS) scans for detecting silent rupture of silicone gel implants are accurate, so surgeons are hoping to use this technology to quickly inform patients of the status of their implants. Currently, there’s a national study being conducted in nine facilities around the country to evaluate how women feel about having the new HRUS scans of their silicone gel breast implants. HRUS is being offered at no cost to the first 150 women in each facility who have silicone gel implants that were placed between 2000 and 2015. Women not eligible for the study who would like to check for implant rupture, are offered the ultrasound option at a low cost.

"In my experience with ultrasound, the positive predictive value is as close to 100 percent as you can get," says Salzman. "Ultrasound has been really, really helpful for our practice. In fifteen minutes you can say, 'Mrs. Smith, your implant is not broken.' It's a relief. No one's going to go spend $2,500 to find that out and have an MRI. But now you can find out in 15 minutes, it's worthwhile. I don't know how in today's world you can practice state of the art, cosmetic breast surgery and not do ultrasound. It's impossible."


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