Doctors use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect breast cancer and other abnormalities. MRI uses a safe magnetic field and radio waves to create medical images. Breast MRI can be used in addition to mammography or ultrasound.
What To Expect During Your Exam
Breast MRI scans take about 45 minutes. During the exam, you lie face down and place your breasts into a cushioned area. When the scan begins, you will hear a muffled thumping sound that lasts several minutes. Then the technologist will give you an injection of contrast. After the injection, more pictures are taken.
The technologist stays in contact with you throughout the exam.
Prior to your MRI breast exam, review the following checklist:
- Bring previous mammograms or ultrasound images to the exam.
- You can eat and drink prior to the exam.
- Continue to take any medication you normally take.
- You CANNOT have an MRI scan if you have:
- Certain cerebral aneurism clips
- Certain heart valves
- Cochlear implants
- Metal filings in the eye
- Certain pacemakers or defibrillators
- Your exam will be scheduled for 7 to 12 days after the last day of your menstrual period.
- If you may be claustrophobic, ask your doctor to prescribe a mild sedative prior to the exam. If you do receive medication, bring someone with you to drive you home.
After your exam is complete, a board-certified radiologist reviews the scans and forwards results to your doctor. Your doctor will discuss the results with you.