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Ultrasound Imaging of Breast Implants in Grand Rapids

As a plastic surgeon specializing in breast augmentation, Dr. Bradley Bengtson offers high-resolution ultrasound imaging of breast implants so his Grand Rapids and Birmingham patients can have peace of mind as they follow their breast implants. Although current generation breast implants are very durable and able to withstand tremendous pressures, most do not last a lifetime. After 7 to 8 years, some implant shells (the outer layer) can weaken, and form a fold flaw from rubbing on themselves. Because of this, the FDA currently recommends MRI imaging of silicone breast implants every 3, 5, and 7 years; however, this is too early to pick up most implant problems. In addition, the majority of plastic surgeons recommend MRIs that most insurance companies do not pay for, costing patients $2,000 to $2,500 per exam.

In search of a cost-effective option to MRI, Dr. Bengtson initiated a research study protocol to determine if High-Resolution Ultrasound (HRUS) would provide an effective method and alternative to MRI to monitor and follow the condition of breast implants. The research results thus far indicate that, as a screening tool, ultrasound appears to be equivalent to MRI in detecting shell failure of breast implants. That can provide peace of mind and also save our Grand Rapids and Birmingham patients a great deal of money in the long run.

*Result may vary from person to person.

Dr. Bengtson received the prestigious Tiffany Award for the Best Research in Plastic Surgery by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for his work examining the efficacy of monitoring breast implants with this High-Resolution Ultrasound technique. Years of specialized education and experience enable him to perform exceptional breast augmentation procedures, but his involvement doesn’t end when the last suture is placed. Dr. B maintains a long-term interest in the health and welfare of all his patients, following all of his breast patients for life.

What is ultrasound imaging of breast implants?

At the Bengtson Center for Aesthetics and Plastic surgery, we use a high-resolution ultrasound system to screen and detect abnormalities in silicone, Natrelle 410 “Gummy Bear” Cohesive Gel, or standard responsive gel breast implants. Ultrasound imaging of breast implants gives our Grand Rapids and Birmingham patients peace of mind.

Why should I consider ultrasound for breast implant follow-up in Grand Rapids?

Dr. Bengtson has completed multiple research projects in an IRB-controlled (Institutional Review Board) study to investigate MRI versus ultrasound for detection of breast implant shell failure. His research has and continues to show HRUS to be equivalent to MRI in this regard. Ultrasound monitoring of breast implants at our Grand Rapids practice can be performed more economically and comfortably than an MRI, which is the current standard for evaluating the condition of an implant that is inside your body. Dr. Bengtson believes this technology will be in every plastic surgeon’s office and used as an extension of our physical exam in the near future.

Brad Bengtson Brad Bengtson

Brad Bengtson, MD, FACS

"Best Plastic Surgeon - Grand Rapids" Grand Rapids Magazine for the past 7 consecutive years.

Elected by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America® from 1996 to 2016.

Sought-after Global Speaker and Educator on all aspects of Plastic Surgery.


Dr. Bengtson’s Research and Innovation

  • If you are considering breast augmentation for the first time, follow-up of your implants is a critical aspect in choosing a plastic surgeon and practice because implants do not last a lifetime. Dr. Bengtson includes ultrasound follow-up of breast implants at no additional charge for all of his Grand Rapids implant patients.
  • If you already have implants and have concerns that they may have changed, shifted, or may be damaged, we recommend ultrasound screening, particularly if your devices are more than 7 years old.
  • If you have received inconclusive results from a recent MRI or other tests to detect rupture of your implants, or if you suspect an implant rupture, you may be a candidate to enroll in our research study or be screened in our office to help determine if your implants are intact or ruptured.
  • If you have had implants for more than 7 years, have experienced recent trauma, or are generally concerned about the status of your breast implants, ultrasound may be used to assess your breast implants. At our Grand Rapids office, additional testing or surgery may be performed based on this exam.
  • Dr. Brad Bengtson’s peers at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery have awarded him the prestigious Tiffany Award for his groundbreaking research on ultrasound imaging of breast implants. His Grand Rapids practice is currently the only one that includes ultrasound follow-up in the cost quote for breast augmentation.
  • In the peer-reviewed journal Aesthetic Surgery, Dr. Bengtson also received the distinguished “Best Research Paper of the Year” award for his work on ultrasound imaging of breast implants.
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