not reliably determine whether a rupture is present, nor can it “see” the back of the implant.

Although ultrasound is inexpensive and can detect many ruptures, its reliability is highly dependent on the operator's skills.

Use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Detect Implant Ruptures

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides high-quality cross-sectional images of the inside of the body without the use of x-rays. This imaging device can be used to detect the presence of silicone gel and is the diagnostic tool of choice when mammography or sonograms suggest an implant rupture. MRI is the most accurate imaging technique for determining whether an implant is intact. The procedure is most effective when the magnetic resonance coils are specifically designed for the breast. Such modern MRI screening is a highly sensitive and specific test for ruptures.

MRI screening, however, is expensive and time consuming. The committee recommends more investigation into whether routine screening for ruptures should be done for women without any symptoms. Such a study should answer the question of whether all ruptures should necessitate having the implant and capsule removed, a procedure requiring an operation and possible tissue loss.

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