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Ruptured Silicone in Breast Implants Most Accurately Detected with MRI

A study in the July 2014 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons indicated that magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is most accurate in detecting silicone implant ruptures over ultrasound diagnostics testing. While ultrasound is still an effective means of managing follow-up and screening of patients that have been through a reconstructive mastectomy, reports show that MRI is more definitive when it comes to finding implant ruptures in a patient. These results could change the standard protocol for dealing with potential rupture in patients.

During a study 102 women having silicone gel, breast implants were assessed for leaks using both MRI and ultrasound. Each patient had symptoms of having implant rupture or problems that were similar in nature. This review of the patients was five years after their original surgery and the patients were going through repeat surgery for changes to the implants due to cosmetic issues. They presented with symptoms of potential leakage and were given both an MRI and an ultrasound to try to spot the issues. After the diagnostic procedures, the results of what was being seen were confirmed with the surgery.

The operations showed that 28 percent of the patients had implant ruptures. The evidence showed that the fractures were more prominent in patients at or over the five-year mark after reconstruction. The results showed that the ultrasound was only 72 percent accurate with the MRI being 94 percent accurate in detecting ruptured silicone breast implants. In addition to spotting the problem more accurately, the MRI results had a lower false negative rate at 5 percent over the 9 percent of the ultrasound. This translated into fewer missed ruptures by the MRI than the ultrasound testing.

Though ultrasound is still considered to be a useful tool in dealing with diagnosis regarding potentially ruptured silicone breast implants, MRI seems to be the more accurate way to obtain answers. The MRI is a more in depth and complete picture of the problem at hand and proves to be more truthful in the results that it puts forth. The results are more stable and have a better usefulness than the outcome of an ultrasound diagnostic tool. The presence of ruptured silicone breast implants after five years can be more appropriately detected and managed.

The studies show that using MRI is the best way to get results when trying to obtain fast answers regarding ruptured silicone breast implants. The MRI should be the first diagnostic tool utilized if possible in the detection process. If MRI is unavailable, using alternative means such as the ultrasound should be employed. This is still a useful tool and option if necessary for the detection of a rupture. Making MRI the primary form of diagnosing ruptured implants could change the way that the issue is approached and the care that patients receive. It could improve the speed of detection of a rupture of silicone implant and get the patient help faster than if ultrasound alone is utilized in the process.