Breast implant adverse events during mammography: reports to the Food and Drug Administration

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2004 May;13(4):371-8; discussion 379-80. doi: 10.1089/154099904323087042.


Objective: To characterize reports of adverse events occurring during mammography to women with breast implants submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Methods: We searched the adverse events database for any report on silicone gel breast implants or saline breast implants that included the word "mammography" or "mammogram"in the text. We also searched adverse event reports for mammographic equipment that included the term "breast implant" in the text.

Results: We retrieved 714 adverse event reports using this strategy. Sixty-six of these reports detailed an adverse event that occurred during mammography or described breast implant interference with mammography. The majority of these reports, 41 of 66 (62.1%), described breast implant rupture during mammography. Other adverse events reported included mammographic compression crushing implants, pain during mammography attributed to implants, inability to perform mammography because of capsular contracture or fear of implant rupture, and delayed detection of cancer attributed to implants.

Conclusions: It is important that women considering breast implants be informed of these potential risks and that clinicians, radiologists, and mammographic technicians keep them in mind when imaging women with implants.

MeSH terms

  • Breast / pathology*
  • Breast Diseases / diagnosis
  • Breast Diseases / etiology*
  • Breast Implants* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / adverse effects*
  • Polyurethanes
  • Prosthesis Failure*
  • Risk Factors
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Silicone Gels
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration
  • Women's Health


  • Polyurethanes
  • Silicone Gels