“What About Breast Implants Before Heart Surgery?” Asks Dorata

I received an interesting question from Dorata about breast implants, echocardiograms and minimally invasive heart valve surgery. In her email, Dorata writes, “Hi Adam, I’m expecting a mitral valve repair surgery in a few years. I’m considering having breast implants now. I am wondering if breast implants interfere with the echocardiographic examination and minimally invasive surgeries?”

Breast Implant Before Heart Surgery

To help Dorata answer this question, I contacted Dr. Allan Stewart, Director of Aortic Surgery and Co-Director of the Heart Valve Center of Mount Sinai Hospital. So you know, Dr. Stewart has successfully treated many patients in our community as you can see by clicking here.

In his response to Dorata’s question, Dr. Stewart noted the following:

Breast implants have the potential to alter the approach of heart valve surgery. It is important to tell your surgeon about implants during the pre-operative consultation so damage does not occur.  Depending on the type and size of the implant, a heart surgeon may decide to involve a plastic surgeon in the procedure.

Dr. Allan Stewart

In my practice, I will still proceed with minimally invasive surgery, but will involve a plastic surgeon to care for the implant. Specifically, I mean that the implant is temporarily removed at the start of the procedure and placed in a sterile container. The heart surgery procedure will be performed as planned. Once I am satisfied that the procedure was successful, the chest is closed and the breast implant is replaced. The presence of breast implants should not eliminate the possibility for a minimally invasive procedure on the heart.

I hope this helped Dorata (and perhaps you) learn more about breast implants and heart surgery. Many thanks to Dorata for her question and a special thanks to Dr. Stewart for sharing his clinical expertise with our community.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • M-J

    My concern for Dorata is how will you know for sure that you will be a candidate for minimally invasive surgery? I had my mitral valve replaced July 2013 and had to have a full sternectomy. As a healthy, thin person, I would have thought I could have minimally invasive surgery, but my surgeon didn’t feel that was the best option for me. While I have a very thin scar, I’m not yet comfortable wearing v-neck shirts and am currently very happy I’m small chested. I hope this helps!

  • Terri

    I received implants in 2008 and in 2013 I had minimally invasive surgery. There were no issues with my implants as far as I know and the surgery went as expected. The only thing is, the repair didn’t hold, so now I have to go back to have my valve replaced. Sometimes I wonder if getting the implants didn’t put extra strain on my valve in the first place. This is something I think about often as I have a lot of discomfort wearing bras and my breathing is labored at times. i never had heart issues before my implants and within 3 years I started to have episodes that included high heart rate with labored breathing. They tell me it’s genetic since my mom had a valve repaired at age 82, but hers wasn’t nearly as bad as mine and I’m in my 40’s. I wonder if anyone has done any research regarding implants and heart valves.

  • Miltominto

    You have cited very interesting topic in the blog. My elder sister who is a heart patient and will be undergoing the heart transplantation with three or four months. At the same time she has been scheduled for the breast implant surgery in Dr. Hugh McLean’s cosmetic surgery clinic in Mississauga. I was pretty much afraid for her health condition and wondering whether is it possible to have the breast implant prior to the heart surgery. I will definitely make use of your tips. Thanks for sharing

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