What is Breast MRI?
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) utilizes radio waves and a magnetic field to produce detailed images of the body that your radiologist can use for diagnostic purposes, including the detection of breast tumors, breast lumps and other abnormal breast tissue. Breast MRI assists the doctor by offering more detailed imagery, outlining areas of concern better than other imaging techniques can.
When is Breast MRI used?
Typically an MRI of the breast is used when your physician has performed other exams but the results are inconclusive. A breast MRI can offer additional information for your physician to use in the diagnostic process. Additionally, breast MRI may be used as a screening test for women with a high risk of breast cancer. For example, women with gene changes such as BRCA1 or BRCA2 , those with specific genetic syndromes, and those with a family history of breast cancer among their first degree relatives (mother, daughter or sister).
What can I expect during the exam?
The exam is painless and lasts about 45 minutes. A contrast agent may be injected prior to the exam to help with the imaging. During the exam, you will be lying down while the scanner takes images of the internal structure of your breasts. There is no preparation necessary, please dress comfortably and avoid clothes with metal (no metal is allowed in the MRI exam room).
Is the exam safe?
Yes. MRI is non-invasive and does not use radiation such as that used in X-rays.