A note on terms:
Everyone has breast tissue and people of all genders can get breast cancer. To be clear and consistent, we use the word ‘breasts’ in our health information, rather than boobs, pecs or chest. When we say breasts, we mean the tissue from your rib cage up to your collarbone and armpits, including your nipples.
How to check
We often get asked how to check your breasts with breast implants. The answer is that there is no special technique for checking your breasts if you have implants, you just need to get to know your normal and check regularly. If you have recently had implants, you will need to get used to your new normal. This is the case if you’ve had any surgery to your chest. It can take a while to get used to the changes and how your chest now looks and feels. You might have changes to sensitivity or new scar tissue, but the key is getting to know what’s normal for you, and to contact your doctor if you have any concerns.
Here’s our top tips for checking with implants:
- Look in the mirror and familiarise yourself with how your breasts look now.
- Feel all your breast tissue. Remember your breast tissue goes up to your collarbone and under your armpits.
- Try checking in different positions. For example, try checking while standing up and lying down to get to know your breasts in different positions.
- Take note of anything new after your surgery, such as scars or new firmness.
- Be patient. You will get used to your new normal, just keep checking once a month.
- Talk to your doctor if you notice anything unusual or a new change occurs.
There are risks with all surgery, and there are risks with all implants (prosthesis). However, there is no evidence that breast implants increase your risk of breast cancer. There is a rare form of cancer called Breast Implant Associated Lymphoma, which is linked to a very small number of breast implants. Breast Implant Associated Lymphoma is not breast cancer, it is a rare cancer of the immune system. These links have been found in about 1 in 24,000 cases. The data tells us that complications linked to breast implant surgeries are rare and not usually serious. The vast majority of breast implant surgeries are safe. If you are thinking about having breast implants, you can talk to your GP. The NHS also has good advice here.
Visit the Self-Checkout
CoppaFeel! is accredited by the Patient Information Forum.
Our health information carries the PIF TICK quality mark, so you can be assured it is reliable and trustworthy.
This information was published in April 2021. It will be revised in April 2024.