MRI for Evaluation of Complications of Breast Augmentation

With breast augmentation being one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures worldwide, this is a review of breast implants, their placement, their complications and the role MRI plays in evaluating implant integrity and clarifying the findings of conventional imaging when equivocal.

Course ID: Q00719 Category:
Modalities: ,


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Targeted CE per ARRT’s Discipline, Category, and Subcategory classification:
[Note: Discipline-specific Targeted CE credits may be less than the total Category A credits approved for this course.]

Breast Sonography: 1.00
Procedures: 1.00
Breast Interventions: 1.00

Mammography: 1.00
Procedures: 1.00
Mammographic Positioning, Special Needs, and Imaging Procedures: 1.00

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: 2.00
Procedures: 2.00
Body: 2.00

Registered Radiologist Assistant: 2.00
Procedures: 2.00
Thoracic Section: 2.00

Sonography: 1.00
Procedures: 1.00
Superficial Structures and Other Sonographic Procedures: 1.00


  1. Introduction
  2. Breast Implant Classification
    1. Implant Type
    2. Implant Lumen
    3. Implant Texture
    4. Implant Location
  3. MRI Evaluation of the Augmented Breast and Recommended Protocol
  4. Normal Findings at MRI of Patients with Breast Implants
    1. Radial Folds
    2. Peri-Implant Fluid
  5. Complications of Breast Implants
    1. Peri-Implant Collections
    2. Capsular Contracture
    3. Implant Rupture
    4. Deformities, Displacement, and Malposition of the Implant
    5. Desmoid Tumors
    6. Breast Implant-Associated Lymphoma
  6. Fat Necrosis
  7. Silicone Injection
  8. Breast Cancer in Patients with Implants
  9. Conclusion


Upon completion of this course, students will:

  1. know the current percentage of saline vs. silicone breast implants
  2. recognize the greatest complication for breast implants as they age
  3. realize the nature of a breast implant rupture
  4. understand why MRI is the imaging modality of choice to evaluate the integrity of breast implants
  5. know how current, 5th generation breast implants compare to earlier designs
  6. identify the substances used to fill single lumen breast implants
  7. recognize characteristics associated with textured implants
  8. understand the possible locations for a breast implant in relation to the pectoralis muscle
  9. realize that the placement of the implant impacts the ease with which the implant can be displaced for a mammography study
  10. learn about signal suppression with MRI pulse sequences
  11. identify pulse sequences in a breast MRI exam for a patient who has breast implants
  12. recognize proper MR imaging parameters for a breast exam
  13. recognize when intravenous gadolinium-based contrast material should be used in a breast MRI exam
  14. identify normal findings on breast MR images
  15. recognize how to differentiate radial folds from implant rupture on breast MRI
  16. know the approximate lifespan of breast implants
  17. identify local complications of breast implants
  18. learn the MR imaging features suggestive of infection
  19. know about capsular contracture
  20. understand where free silicone is found with different types of implant rupture
  21. register the percentage of breast implants that rupture within 10 years
  22. know the term used for saline implants that have leaked
  23. recognize the imaging modality with the highest sensitivity for determination of implant rupture
  24. realize where silicone may migrate in extracapsular ruptures
  25. recognize definitive signs of rupture seen at MRI
  26. know the most reliable sign to diagnose extracapsular rupture
  27. know another name for desmoid tumor
  28. learn about breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  29. recognize a benign inflammatory process that occurs as a result of vascular compromise to adipose tissue
  30. understand why mammography is less sensitive to identifying breast cancer in patients with breast implants