The Breast Self Exam (BSE) is an important part of taking care of your body in the fight against breast cancer.
If you’re reading this before your breast augmentation I’d advise you to get to know your girls now.
To get the best from a breast self exam you need to know what’s normal for you.
When you know what's normal for you, you will know what's not normal for you and you can seek the advice and support of a medical professional at the earliest opportunity.
Breast Self Exam after a breast augmentation
You may be asking if (and how) you can still do a breast self exam after you’ve got breast implants.
Of course you can!
Breast implants can get in the way of mammograms but they do not affect self examination.
Little known fact, but breast implants can actually aid a BSE! Implants are placed under your breast tissue and that pushes the breast tissue forward, which makes it easier to detect any lumps and bumps in your own breast tissue.
The way you perform a BSE (check out the BreastCancer.org website for details on the technique) after a breast augmentation is EXACTLY the same.
You should perform a BSE at least monthly.
There will be a brief hiatus in BSE after your surgery as you need to be completely healed before you continue with the exams. Ask your surgeon for their input on the best time to re-start your breast self exams after your surgery.
Breast Implant Complications
There are some post-BA complications (e.g. capsular contracture) that can cause changes in the look or feel of your breasts. These kinds of changes can be easily confused with the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, leaving you wondering if something is a BA complication or a sign of cancer.
Contact your general physician if, upon self examination, you feel anything different or new for you. It's also a good idea to keep your surgeon in the loop so you can be guided to the right professional care.
It's a sad fact, but around 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
Breast implants don't stop you from performing a Breast Self-Ecam so you can stay breast aware by regularly checking your breasts. Protect your investment, but more importantly protect your health.
Thoughts from Dr. Glenn DavisI really appreciate that Jenny Eden has included this topic in her series. Routine self exams are important in your continued breast care, as are mammograms as recommended by your primary care doctor or OB/GYN.
Breast implants do not increase your risk for breast cancer, nor do they interfere with the ability to detect a breast cancer, but certainly it's important to continue to follow these guidelines after surgery.