The purpose of high resolution ultrasound (HRUS) imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. HRUS can be used by Dr. Burgess and her nurse(s), as a screening tool, to detect fluid collections known as seromas, or to evaluate the integrity of your breast implant shell for any fractures, ruptures, or other potential issues.
After having breast augmentation surgery, it is often recommended to get routine MRI screenings to check for implant integrity. Some silicone implant ruptures can go undiagnosed, which is where the name “silent rupture’ comes from. Ultrasound imaging is the most convenient way to ensure that your silicone implants are still intact. If a patient were to have saline implants rupture, it is easier to catch, as they visibly deflate. Silicone implants use a cohesive gel, which when ruptured, may be trapped by surrounding tissues, making it harder to detect without proper screening.
Additionally, implant patients will need a referral from a primary care physician to schedule an MRI, and insurance may not cover the cost. Advanced imaging tests are not cheap, which is a major reason why patients hesitate to check for implant integrity. Burgess Plastic Surgery is proud to offer HRUS to our breast implant patients. High Resolution Ultrasound is being used as an imaging tool for Dr. Burgess and her nurses to visualize the breast implant. HRUS is not used as a diagnostic test to confirm a breast implant rupture or identify any pathology in the breast. Dr. Burgess and her nurse(s) will not comment on any breast tissue pathology. Additionally, it is always possible for an ultrasound prediction to be incorrect.
Are there alternatives to High Resolution Ultrasound?
Yes, there are alternatives to HRUS for detecting seromas or to evaluate the integrity of your breast implant shell including:
1. Do nothing;
2. Request additional ultrasound, mammograms or MRI with a radiologist to confirm any suspected implant issue or fluid collection in the breast or any other part of the body; and
3. Undergo an aspiration of a fluid collection without ultrasound guidance.
Based on my imaging, what are my treatment options?
1. Do nothing;
2. Request additional ultrasounds, mammograms or MRIs with a radiologist to confirm any suspected implant issue or fluid collection in the breast or other parts of the body
3. Undergo an aspiration (drainage) of fluid collection; or
4. Surgically remove the implant(s) with or without replacement
What is the cost for HRUS at Burgess Plastic Surgery?
We provide our patients with HRUS imaging in our office at no cost. There is a learning curve to this HRUS imaging and we are still learning. So if there are any concerns, then you should go on to have another study such as an MRI. However, you will be financially responsible for any additional imaging or tests performed outside of our office.