At the just concluded meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in New York City, a panel of plastic surgeons concluded that the Upright™ Position™ MRI device, by Fonar Corp, Melville, NY, is beneficial for the evaluation of breast implants. 

One of the panelists, Dennis C. Hammond, MD, a plastic surgeon at the Center for Breast and Body Contouring, in Grand Rapids, Mich, and his associate, Katie R. Ugolini, MD, have been working with the Fonar research and development department over the past few months to determine whether imaging breast-implant patients in an upright position, as opposed to recumbent, would be helpful in evaluating different types of breast implants. Hammond and Ugolini also wanted to determine if upright imaging would be superior to recumbent imaging for detecting breast implant leaks.

“Now, for the first time, we have an imaging technique that will allow us as plastic surgeons to truly see how these devices are performing once they are placed inside a patient,” says Hammond. “This has important implications for designing better implants in the future, which may be much less likely to rupture and as well as provide better cosmetic results for the patient.”

According to Hammond, women who undergo breast augmentation need follow-up MRI exams to check for implant leakage. The first exam should be 3 years after the surgery, and then every 2 years thereafter.

“When there is implant leakage, it is typically at the bottom of the breast, which is caused, over time, by the weight of the breast. If the patient has her MRI check-up lying down, the weight of the breast is redistributed and, consequently, the leakage can be missed,” he says.

According to Hammond and Ugolini, the Upright Position MRI is the only device on the market that can provide a picture of a breast in its natural, fully weight-loaded position.

[Business Wire, April 25, 2007]